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Title: 2005 Gricar, Ray 04/15/05
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PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:29 PM (GMT)
http://www.raygricar.com/

Year later, police and family still puzzled by DA's disappearance
By: GENARO C. ARMAS (Fri, Apr/14/2006)


BELLEFONTE, Pa. - The corner office belonging to the Centre County district attorney has a new occupant. A refurbished courthouse sits in the center of town. Even the borough police chief is new.

One thing that hasn't changed from a year ago in this tight-knit community: authorities are still looking for missing DA Ray Gricar.

"It could be a homicide, he could be a missing person still, or it could be a suicide," said Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, the lead investigator in the case. "We have no evidence in any direction to substantiate any of those three theories successfully."

Gricar's friends and family are prepared for bad news, but haven't given up hope that he might be alive.

"Always, always. I can't make sense of it either," said Gricar's girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, standing near a photo of the missing prosecutor. "I haven't given up hope. It helps me go on."

Fornicola reported Gricar, who was 59 at the time, missing late on April 15, 2005, when he failed to return from a drive on his day off to their home in Bellefonte.

His red-and-white Mini Cooper was found the next day at the parking lot of an antiques mall near the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg, about an hour's drive east of Bellefonte. Police said the last credible sighting of Gricar was in Lewisburg on April 15.

While taking a long drive wasn't unusual for Gricar, some oddities or coincidences raised suspicions as police and family started taking a closer look into Gricar's life.

-Fornicola said Gricar was napping more in the weeks leading up to his disappearance, though police said a look at medical records didn't show anything unusual.

-Gricar's 53-year-old brother, Roy J. Gricar, of West Chester, Ohio, vanished under similar circumstances in May 1996. His death was ruled a suicide. But authorities said they have no evidence to suggest Ray Gricar may have taken his own life.

Fornicola also reported Gricar's county-issued laptop computer missing to police. Authorities said the computer files may hold key clues.

The computer, without the hard drive, was fished out of the Susquehanna River last July; the hard drive was then found in the river last October, but police said the equipment was too water-logged to see any files.

Gricar had planned to retire in December 2005 after more than two decades in Centre County. His replacement, Michael Madeira, took office in January.

Reports of possible leads and sightings have slowed considerably in the last year, though Zaccagni and the new police chief, Shawn Weaver, say they will follow up on any tips.

A handful of observers and other county DAs have suggested that the state or federal government take over the investigation. But Madeira said there is no need for that, and that Bellefonte police have been working closely with state, federal and other local agencies from the start.

"At least daily, you think about, it crosses your mind," Madeira said about the disappearance. "It will take that lucky thing, that fortuitous event, to change the direction, or give, perhaps, the investigation new life."


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http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/103...006-641657.html

PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:30 PM (GMT)
http://abclocal.go.com/wpvi/story?section=local&id=4086829

Bellefonte DA Still Missing 1-Year Later


April 15, 2006 - The corner office belonging to the Centre County district attorney has a new occupant. A refurbished courthouse sits in the center of town. Even the borough police chief is new.

One thing that hasn't changed from a year ago in the tight-knit community of Bellefonte is that authorities are still looking for missing D-A Ray Gricar.

Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, the lead investigator in the case, says, "It could be a homicide, he could be a missing person still, or it could be a suicide." He says officials "have no evidence in any direction to substantiate any of those three theories."

Gricar's friends and family are prepared for bad news, but haven't given up hope that he might be alive. He was reported missing on April 15th, 2005.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:30 PM (GMT)
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06129/688656-100.stm

Missing Centre County DA case featured on Dateline
Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Associated Press

BELLEFONTE -- The disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar will be featured on Dateline NBC.

Crews finished interviewing in the region Monday for the segment scheduled to air at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dateline NBC reporter Sara James said after taping an interview with District Attorney Michael Madeira.

Gricar has not been seen or heard from since April 15, 2005, when he said he was taking a drive on state Route 192 toward Lewisburg. His car was found a day later in a parking lot in Lewisburg.

Police have worked on three theories: murder, suicide or intentional disappearance. After interviews with Madeira, lead investigator Darrel Zaccagni of the Bellefonte Police, and Gricar's girlfriend and housemate, Patty Fornicola, James said, "All of the possibilities seem equally possible and equally plausible."

She and the investigators said they hoped a national airing of the case would generate new leads. "We're at a dead end," Madiera said. "So we'll take any leads we can get."



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( Copyright 2006 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:31 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/14546212.htm

Posted on Wed, May. 10, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Police revelations refocus attention on missing D.A.
Police seek 'construction-worker type.'
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com

CDT/Nabil K. Mark
Ray Gricar's daughter, Lara Gricar, front center, gives a statement during a news conference at the Bellefonte Borough Building. “I want you to know that I love you very much and my heart aches deeply, so deeply, for your presence,” she said
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BELLEFONTE -- Previously undisclosed news that missing former District Attorney Ray Gricar may have been seen talking to an unknown woman the day he disappeared set off media firestorm in Bellefonte today.

Bellefonte police Chief Sean Weaver and the lead investigator on the case, Darryl Zaccagni, said they have fielded calls all morning from national media, including Fox News' Greta Van Susteren.

Law enforcement officials were seeking to put a positive spin on the events, saying the information -- that a witness reported seeing Gricar talking to a woman in a Lewisburg antique mall on April 15, 2005, the day he disappeared -- is old news to investigators.

Zaccagni said he revealed the information this week, as Dateline NBC is preparing a story on Gricar, in hopes of finding the woman.

"This is definitely not a new revelation," Weaver said. "But we're hoping this national attention, in the form of Dateline NBC, will give us that one lead we need to find Ray."

Zaccagni revealed today that police are also looking for a "construction-worker type" who was seen leaning into the passenger side of a red Mini-Cooper -- the type of car Gricar drove -- in the parking lot of the Lewisburg antique mall.

Gricar's vehicle was found in that parking lot April 16, 2005. Police have said they found cigarette ashes in the car, although Gricar did not smoke and did not allow anyone to smoke in the vehicle.

It was not clear why the information about the woman or the construction worker was not made public earlier. For more than a week after Gricar's disappearance, Bellefonte police held almost daily news conferences that were covered by both local and national media.

"Hindsight is 20/20," Zaccagni. "If you're going to find fault, yeah, maybe we should have went to the media about this woman sooner. But there was no attempt to hide anything at all. She just fell by the wayside."

Although Zaccagni now describes the witness report as the first credible sighting of Gricar after he went missing, he and Weaver said police were following a plethora of leads at the time and it simply did not come up in communications with the media.

That may, in part, have been out of concern for Gricar's family and loved ones, Zaccagni said, and concerns that they would be hurt if the revelation raised questions about whether Gricar was having an affair.

In addition, Zaccagni said, with all the attention on the case, "I thought she would have come forward if she were really there."

Gricar and the woman were walking through the market, and there was no physical contact between the two, the witness reported. Investigators are interested in talking to her though "she is definitely not a suspect," Zaccagni said.

Weaver said police have no idea who the woman is, what her relationship with Gricar was, or even if she actually exists. It's possible, he said, that she was simply another shopper at the mall who kept bumping into Gricar, and who had no idea who he was.

After receiving the witness' report, police spoke with an acquaintance of Gricar who fit the description of the woman, but determined that it was not her.

Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, of Dayton, Ohio, said Tuesday night that he could not initially recall police telling him of reports of the woman seen with Gricar at the antiques market.

"To me, that's an odd little bombshell," he said. He added that he welcomed the attention the news is drawing, and hopes it will lead to new information on the case.

Tony Gricar discounted any notion that his uncle could have been seeing the woman spotted with him in the market, saying that would have been uncharacteristic of the busy prosecutor.

"Rationally speaking, with the work he was doing and living with Patty, I don't see that as being too realistic," he said.

Centre County District Attorney Mike Madeira emphasized that police were not holding back any information.

"This isn't new," he said. "It is a simply a review of old stuff we didn't have leads on then. But this is an opportunity for national exposure to perhaps generate some lead."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:31 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/14541375.htm

Posted on Wed, May. 10, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Woman seen with Gricar sought
Police insist she's 'not a suspect'
From staff and wire reports
BELLEFONTE -- The lead investigator in the year-old disappearance of a Centre County district attorney said Tuesday that police are looking for a woman reportedly seen with the district attorney the day he disappeared.

But the new district attorney, Michael Madeira, refutes that claim.

The woman in question was seen with Ray F. Gricar on April 15, 2005, at an antiques market in Lewisburg, and she may have been the last person to have spoken with the prosecutor, Bellefonte police officer Darrel Zaccagni said.

He said investigators are interested in talking with the woman though "she is definitely not a suspect."

Police spoke with an acquaintance of Gricar who fit the description the following day, but determined it was not her.

Other state and local law-enforcement agencies helping in the search were aware of the report, though authorities have not refocused their attention on it until recently, after investigators began to review the case file again, Zaccagni said.

Madeira said Tuesday evening that "there is not a new person of interest (in the case). It isn't something revealed for the first time. It was something that was eliminated within the first 48 hours."

Rather, he said, the new attention is likely due to the upcoming "Dateline NBC" special about the investigation.

Madeira said the airing of the segment could bring new leads in the case. And if this woman comes forward, he said, "great. We will talk to this person. We will take anything new."

But Madeira stressed that this is not a new lead in the case. "This is not a new development," he said.

Zaccagni conceded Tuesday night that he has never spoken with the media about this woman before, but saw an opportunity to bring the information to light with the "Dateline" segment.

"If you're going to find fault, yeah, maybe we should have went to the media about this woman then," he said. "There was no attempt to hide anything at all. She just fell by the wayside."

Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver was not available for comment Tuesday night.

Gricar was last heard from April 15, when he used his cell phone to call his live-in girlfriend Patty Fornicola at his courthouse office. She said he told her he would not be in to work that day and was taking a drive on state Route 192.

Gricar's red-and-white Mini Cooper was found in a Lewisburg parking lot a day later




PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:32 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14549836.htm

Posted on Thu, May. 11, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Clues renew interest in Gricar case
Investigators say the information had fallen by the wayside
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
Gricar case timeline
Ask us your questions about the case
Full coverage
BELLEFONTE -- Previously undisclosed news that missing former District Attorney Ray Gricar may have been seen shopping with an unknown woman the day he disappeared set off a national media firestorm on Wednesday and had investigators scrambling to defend their reasons for not divulging it sooner.

Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver and the lead investigator on this case, Officer Darrel Zaccagni, said they fielded calls throughout the day Wednesday from national media, including Fox News' Greta Van Susteren. Investigators said they are stunned by the media interest in information they have known since the day after Gricar's April 15, 2005, disappearance.

That's when the owner of a shop in a Lewisburg antiques mall told police he saw Gricar on April 15, walking with and talking to a woman. If that happened, the woman could be the last person to have talked to Gricar.

But police, after speaking with an acquaintance of Gricar who fit the description of the woman and determining it was not her in the antiques mall, did not pursue the lead further. No public appeal was made to find the woman.

Zaccagni said he revealed the information this week to "Dateline NBC" for a story about Gricar it plans to broadcast at 8 p.m. Saturday in the hopes the publicity would help police find the woman, or any other new lead. The mystery woman was described as between 5 feet 8 inches and 5 feet 10 inches tall, dark haired and "good looking," Zaccagni said.

"It all fits very fluently and conveniently together," he said. "In the witness's mind, they knew each other and they had some kind of relationship. But I would argue that we didn't hold this back."

Police defend actions

Law-enforcement officials sought to put a positive spin on the situation Wednesday.

"This is definitely not a new revelation," said Weaver, who took office in January. "But we're hoping this national attention, in the form of "Dateline NBC," will give us that one lead we need to find Ray."

Zaccagni also revealed Wednesday that police are also looking for a "construction-worker type" who was seen leaning into the passenger side of a red Mini-Cooper -- the type of car Gricar drove -- in the parking lot of the antiques mall.

"What their relationship is, we don't know," Zaccagni said.

Gricar's vehicle was found in that parking lot April 16, 2005. Police have said they found cigarette ash in the car on the passenger-side floor, although Gricar did not smoke and did not allow anyone to smoke in the car.

For more than a week after Gricar's disappearance, Bellefonte police held almost daily news conferences covered by local and national media. But the mystery woman was never mentioned.

"Hindsight is 20/20," Zaccagni said. "If you're going to find fault, yeah, maybe we should have went to the media about this woman sooner. But there was no attempt to hide anything at all. She just fell by the wayside."

Although Zaccagni now describes the witness report as the first credible sighting of Gricar after he went missing, he and Weaver said police were following a plethora of leads at the time and it simply did not come up in communications with the media.

"It just became another Ray sighting that could not be verified," Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said. "It was something that was not seized upon at the time by law enforcement or the media because of everything else that was going on at the time."

The sighting may have been kept under wraps, in part, Zaccagni said, out of concern for Gricar's family and loved ones should the revelation raise suspicions that Gricar was having an affair.

In addition, Zaccagni said, with all the attention on the case, "I thought she would have come forward if she were really there."

Shocked reaction

The news of the sighting, and the attention it has grabbed, had Gricar's girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, near tears Wednesday. She said she knows the man she planned to spend the rest of her life with did not run off with another woman.

"That is not even a possibility," Fornicola said. "His last words to me in that phone call (on April 15, 2005) was 'I love you.' You don't say 'I love you,' get that same response back and two hours later run off with another woman."

Gricar and the woman were walking through the market, but there was no physical contact between them, the witness reported. Weaver said police have no idea who the woman is, what her relationship with Gricar was or even if she actually exists. It's possible, he said, that she was simply another shopper at the mall who kept bumping into Gricar, and who had no idea who he was.

Police aren't even certain the man was Gricar.

While she is of interest, "she is definitely not a suspect," Zaccagni said.

Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, of Dayton, Ohio, said Tuesday that he could not initially recall police telling him of the woman seen with Gricar at the antiques market.

"To me, that's an odd little bombshell," he said.

Tony Gricar discounted any notion his uncle could have been seeing the woman spotted with him in the market.

"Rationally speaking, with the work he was doing and living with Patty, I don't see that as being too realistic," he said.

Madeira emphasized police were not intentionally holding back information.

"This isn't new," he said. "It is simply a review of old stuff we didn't have leads on then. But this is an opportunity for national exposure to perhaps generate some lead."

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928. The Associated Press contributed to this report.





PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:32 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...cs/14549794.htm

Posted on Thu, May. 11, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
'Sensitivity' cited in missing DA mystery woman disclosure
GENARO C. ARMAS
Associated Press
BELLEFONTE, Pa. - Ray F. Gricar's family faced a mountain of pressure in the days after the prosecutor disappeared last year.

In part out of sensitivity to the distraught family, authorities did not publicly release details of a witness' account that Gricar may have been seen with a woman the day that he was reported missing, the lead investigator in the case said Wednesday.

Police initially addressed the issue publicly in generalities, asking for anyone who spoke with or who may have seen the Centre County district attorney to come forward with any new information, Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni said.

"We were trying to show a little sensitivity. We didn't blow it up as a big to-do thing," Zaccagni said. "At the same time, we also talked about it for those people to come forward."

Authorities decided to refocus attention on the unidentified woman after a recent review of files to prepare for a segment on the case airing on an upcoming "Dateline NBC" episode.

"This is not a bombshell piece of evidence," Police Chief Shawn Weaver said. "Now it still might not be the lead we are looking for, however, we just decided to bring it back out, looking at the case file and rehashing different situations."

A witness inside an antiques market in Lewisburg initially reported seeing Gricar with a woman on April 15, 2005. Gricar and the woman were walking through the market and did not make any physical contact, the witness reported.

Gricar was reported missing that night by his girlfriend of several years after he failed to return to the home they shared in Bellefonte.

Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, said he understands why sensitivity may have been an issue in holding back details publicly about the woman in the Lewisburg market. However, he has said it would be highly uncharacteristic for his busy uncle to have been seeing someone else.

"From a sensitivity standpoint, if that's the possibility of besmirching his name, to us that has never been an issue," said Tony Gricar, of Dayton, Ohio, after speaking with police by phone on Wednesday.

Soon after hearing the account of the woman in the Lewisburg market, police spoke with an acquaintance of Gricar who fit the description, but determined that it was not her.

Other law enforcement agencies helping with the investigation had been aware of the woman since the initial report. But in the first chaotic days of the investigation, state and local police moved on to other leads and were focused on coordinating air and ground searches.

"Officers investigated an angle on that, found it not to be what we were looking for," Weaver said. "When we found it not to be her, we focused our attention on other aspects of the investigation."

Weaver took over as chief in January for Duane Dixon, who stepped down last year. Dixon was chief when Gricar disappeared and was initially handling most media inquiries.

Zaccagni, who began talking to reporters about the case later in 2005, said that he has made reference to the woman in Lewisburg through general statements about Gricar having possibly been seen with women at several reported - but unfruitful - sightings.

The witness' description of the woman in the Lewisburg market was too vague to put together a composite sketch, police said.

"It was kind of a nonevent at the time," Gricar's nephew said. "On one hand, it's a great thing that they are readdressing this. On the other hand, I don't know realistically what outcome will be from that."

ON THE NET

Gricar family site: Gricar family site: http://www.raygricar.com/




PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:33 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14569409.htm

Posted on Sat, May. 13, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Missed leads
Ignored sightings, witnesses spur questions in Gricar probe
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com

CDT/Nabil K. Mark
Patty Fornicola, Ray Gricar's girlfriend, speaks at a press conference Friday morning. A press conference was held Friday at the Centre County Courthouse Annex in Bellefonte to update the case on Ray Gricar's disappearance.
More photos
Blog: Gricar case back in the news
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Ask your questions about the case
BELLEFONTE -- One year after former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar seemed to step off the face of the planet, a review of the police investigation has uncovered new details that indicate key elements may have been missed.

Following the previously undisclosed news this week that a witness reported seeing Gricar talking with a woman in a Lewisburg antiques mall the afternoon he disappeared, the Centre Daily Times reviewed the early days of the police investigation by interviewing Gricar's family, friends and co-workers. Some startling revelations emerged:

u An assistant district attorney is certain she saw Gricar in Bellefonte at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 15, 2005, the day he vanished. It was reported to police but dismissed as not fitting the timeline police had established for Gricar.

u Police admit they are not monitoring Gricar's checking and savings accounts for strange activity, which experts called a serious mistake.

u Two close and longtime friends of the missing district attorney -- Ed Walker and Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane, who is perhaps Gricar's best friend -- say they were never interviewed by Bellefonte police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, the lead investigator in the case. Zaccagni also never interviewed Gricar's co-workers in the courthouse or District Attorney's Office.

"I find that incredibly odd," Sloane said.

The men have never been asked for advice or their thoughts on Gricar's state of mind in the months and weeks leading up to his disappearance.

"I'm really surprised (Zaccagni) didn't talk to Steve," Walker said.

Zaccagni said conducting interviews of Sloane, Walker and a bevy of county workers likely would yield nothing.

"If my chief wants me to go and do that, I have no problem with doing that," Zaccagni said. "It may be worthwhile, it may not be. But I really don't have an answer to that. It could be a lot of time to lead us nowhere. It could provide us a real lead.

"But it more likely would just lead us toward a theory," he said.

New sighting

Authorities say the last credible sighting of Gricar occurred on the afternoon of April 15, 2005, at the Street of Shops, a Lewisburg antiques mall. That's where his red Mini Cooper was found the next day.

But Centre County Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Fenton said she saw Gricar in the county courthouse parking lot in Bellefonte about 3 p.m. April 15, Zaccagni revealed.

Fenton, then a law clerk for Judge David E. Grine, was taking the afternoon off after a trial ended and was feeling guilty about leaving early, she said.

"I see a car leaving the parking lot and the driver was Ray," Fenton said Friday. Police never revealed the sighting until questioned by the Centre Daily Times, which then contacted Fenton.

"I thought, 'Well, even the district attorney is taking the rest of the day off, so I don't feel so bad now,' " Fenton said.

She looked to see if Patty Fornicola, Gricar's housemate, girlfriend and co-worker, was in the passenger seat. But Gricar was alone, Fenton said.

Fenton said she was about 15 to 20 feet away. Gricar was driving a gold or silver, metallic-colored car, not his Mini Cooper or Fornicola's Honda, she said.

When she heard Gricar was missing, she went to police. But her sighting was immediately ruled out as not fitting the timeline they'd established, which put Gricar in Lewisburg at that time.

Gricar had called Fornicola about 11:30 that morning to tell her he was taking a drive toward Lewisburg, police said, and reported sightings of him at the antiques mall followed.

Surveillance footage shows Fenton leaving the courthouse at the time she remembers, but cameras did not pan wide enough to catch the car she said was driven by Gricar.

Gricar's daughter, Lara Gricar, seemed stunned by the information when contacted at her Lake Stevens, Wash., home.

"I've never heard that before," she said.

Uncharacteristic behavior

Centre County Criminal Court Administrator Cheryl Spotts was never interviewed by police. But she has long been struck by what she says was odd behavior by Gricar about a month before his disappearance.

"I remember distinctly a meeting we had, March the 9th," Spotts said. It was a meeting in the chambers of Centre County President Judge Charles C. Brown Jr. They were there to talk about a potential death-penalty case and set a trial date.

"It just seemed that Ray wasn't with it," Spotts said. "He was just looking around, which kind of shocked me because this was a death-penalty case."

At one point, Brown told Gricar he had two weeks available in October for the trial.

"Ray just turned and looked at the bookcases," Spotts said. "He didn't even look at the judge when he said it.

"He just said, 'I won't be here,' " Spotts said.

What he meant is not known. That was a time of year Gricar sometimes would vacation in Vermont, Sloane said. Other sources also speculated that Gricar was referring to vacation plans. Gricar's 60th birthday was Oct. 9.

But his behavior left Spotts unsettled enough that she remarked on it to several co-workers at the time.

Spotts said she did not go to police with this information because she knew they hadn't believed Fenton's supposed sighting of Gricar.

"So why would they believe me?" Spotts said.

Spotts' story about Gricar's behavior on March 9 startled Zaccagni.

"That's the first I've heard of that," Zaccagni said. "No, we did not talk to every county employee Ray had contact with. But we made it known we would sit down with anybody."

He said Sloane was interviewed for hours in the days after Gricar disappeared by a state police profiler, who later said Gricar likely committed suicide.

Zaccagni could not recall the profiler's name.

"To be honest with you, we never got the written reports (from the profiler)," Zaccagni said. "But we spoke verbally."

Call for 'another set of eyes'

These revelations, including the previously undisclosed news that Gricar was seen with a woman in Lewisburg the day he vanished, prompted Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner to again call for the investigation to be handed over to the state Attorney General's Office or FBI.

"I think this case is larger than the Bellefonte Police Department's capacity to investigate every lead that is out there," said Buehner, a friend of Gricar's who believes he was murdered. "They have worked it as hard as they can. But this case needs a statewide task force led by a veteran prosecutor."

Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira has repeatedly said that the only way the state could take over the investigation is if a grand jury became necessary, or if Madeira could argue he does not have the resources to investigate the disappearance. Neither is the case, Madeira has said.

Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, was reluctant to criticize local police, but said new eyes are needed in light of the latest information. He said he plans to be in Centre County next week to find answers.

"At this point, given the revelations, another set of eyes can do a lot of good," Tony Gricar said.

"If there are lapses in the investigation, things need to be tightened up and we need to find whoever can complete this investigation. I just hope there haven't been other lapses."

Relying on Lara

Zaccagni also revealed that police are not monitoring Gricar's checking and savings accounts, which Zaccagni said totaled more than $100,000 -- but not much more -- when Gricar disappeared.

The accounts were held jointly by Gricar and his daughter, Lara, and had been for years. Since his disappearance, Lara Gricar has been named trustee of her father's estate.

"It's a substantial sum, but nothing extravagant," Zaccagni said.

"I don't personally check it at all. Lara knows to contact us if anything unusual happens. We rely on Lara to contact us if there are any unusual withdrawals."

Zaccagni said he last talked with Lara Gricar more than a month ago.

Gricar was making $129,000 annually when he vanished.

He had no investments.

He owned no property.

He was living in his girlfriend's home and owed nothing to two ex-wives.

When he bought his Mini Cooper, he paid cash and registered it in Fornicola's name. Zaccagni said Fornicola told him Gricar did this as a precaution in case he was ever sued for wrongful prosecution, or something of the sort, Zaccagni said.

Sloane, when told the state of Gricar's financial accounts, was stunned. Gricar was known as a frugal man who did not throw money around, he said.

"Wow," Sloane said.

"He should have had more money than that, I would think. He wasn't into investing. He wasn't very into 401(k)s or IRAs."

Lara Gricar would not comment on her father's finances. "That's nobody's business," she said.

Gricar's finances should be the Bellefonte Police Department's business, said John Lajoie, a nationally known, Massachusetts-based private investigator who serves as Northeast regional director for the National Association of Legal Investigators.

"If they are not personally watching his checking, savings and credit cards, they're not conducting an effective investigation," Lajoie said.

Lajoie also took issue with the fact that Zaccagni never personally interviewed Gricar's best friends and courthouse employees.

"I would think you would want to talk to as many people who knew him as possible," Lajoie said.

'I believe he is alive'

"In my heart and soul, I believe he is alive, and that might be just wishful thinking on my part," Sloane said. When told of the new information, Sloane conceded the disappearance is beginning to sound "like something he planned."

"But it just doesn't make sense though," Sloane said. "Why?"

The Gricar family, however, no longer holds much hope that Ray Gricar will be found alive, Tony Gricar said.

Even Lara, who long believed her father was still alive, has accepted that, he said.

"Early on, she was hopeful," Tony Gricar said.

"But now, she doesn't believe he is alive."

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.



PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:34 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14574849.htm

Gricar family upset by missteps
Chief refuses to hand over case
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
The family of Ray Gricar is calling for Bellefonte police to hand its investigation over to a state or federal agency in light of a Centre Daily Times review of the case that found apparent mistakes by the department.

The plea came Saturday, the day the CDT published what Tony Gricar called "stunning" missteps by the Bellefonte Police Department.

"At this point, it seems to be a colossal collapse in judgment," the nephew of the missing former prosecutor said, speaking on behalf of the Gricar family.

But Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said his department will not relinquish the case -- despite the request from Tony Gricar and what the chief called pressure from the media.

"I'm not going to be swayed to give this case up," Weaver said. "We will remain steadfast in this investigation, and we will see it through."

Messages left for Gricar's live-in girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, were not returned Saturday.

New revelations more than a year after a Gricar vanished, supposedly from a Lewisburg antiques mall, also prompted district attorneys in two nearby counties to call for a statewide task force of investigators. The two prosecutors also questioned whether Gricar's disappearance should have been handled by Bellefonte police in the first place.

Among the findings revealed Saturday in a CDT review of the case:

u Assistant District Attorney Carolyn Fenton said she is positive she saw Gricar in a metallic-colored car leaving the county courthouse parking lot at 3 p.m. April 15, 2005, the day he vanished -- supposedly -- from an antiques mall in Lewisburg. The sighting was discounted and never made public because it did not fit a police timeline of Gricar's whereabouts.

u The case's lead investigator, Bellefonte police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, did not personally interview Gricar's two best friends, Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane and State College resident Ed Walker. Zaccagni also did not interview all county employees who had daily contact with Gricar.

u Police admit they are not personally watching Gricar's savings and checking accounts but are leaving it up to his daughter, Lara Gricar, to report any unusual activity. Experts called this move a "serious" mistake. Lara Gricar held those two accounts jointly with her father.

"It's just incredible," Tony Gricar said Saturday.

He was particularly disturbed by the fact that Fenton's sighting of Gricar was rejected. "She's as credible a witness as we've had all along," Tony Gricar said.

Fenton told police in the days following Gricar's disappearance that she saw him in a metallic-colored car, not his red Mini Cooper or Fornicola's Honda. Fenton said she is sure of what she saw, but police said it could not have been Gricar because he was spotted by witnesses in Lewisburg during the early afternoon.

"But she knew him," Tony Gricar said in near disbelief. "The single most-credible witness was discredited because of timeline issues when police didn't even have a credible timeline."

The Gricar family is also upset that Zaccagni has not sat down with Sloane and Walker -- or any other county employee -- for in-depth interviews during the past 13 months.

"The fact that (Zaccagni) never spoke to Ray's two closest friends is amazing to me," Tony Gricar said. "If I went missing, I'd want investigators talking to my best friends."

Weaver, sworn into office in January, said he met with a plethora of investigators when he became chief and came away impressed by the investigation.

"I still am very impressed by the work we've done, and we will continue to stay the course," Weaver said.

Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner renewed his calls for state Attorney General Tom Corbett to step in -- now.

"The attorney general has been too silent for too long," Buehner said Saturday. "The information the CDT has been able to uncover absolutely reinforces we need a statewide task force for this investigation, made up of top-notch police investigators, led by an experienced prosecutor, to come in and solve this thing."

Bellefonte police, and Zaccagni, have done the best they can on limited time and resources, Buehner said. State police at Milton, literally one mile from the Lewisburg bridge from which Gricar's laptop may have been tossed, have been "underutilized," he said.

And the Lewisburg police have not been used, he said.

"I have never believed from the first weekend that Centre County law enforcement had any jurisdiction in this," Buehner said. "There is strong possibility foul play was involved and, if so, it appears to have happened in Lewisburg, Union County."

Union County District Attorney Pete Johnson was out of the area Saturday and could not be reached for comment. Messages left on Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira's cell phone and at his office were not returned Saturday.

"It's not a Centre County case," Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight said.

He too is calling for Corbett to take over the case with state police -- if Lewisburg police and the Union County District Attorney's office do not want it.

"The reality of this case is the center of events and sightings has been Lewisburg, and that happens to be in Union County," McKnight said.

Because Gricar was reported missing to Bellefonte police, they have led the investigation.

Tony Gricar welcomed Buehner's and McKnight's involvement.

"It's great to have more learned voices speaking out," Tony Gricar said. "It's definitely nice to hear those voices standing up for Ray."




PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:35 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/14597149.htm

Posted on Wed, May. 17, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Madeira seeks review of probe
Elite state police team to go over case, search for missed leads
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
BELLEFONTE -- Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira called Tuesday for an elite state police investigative review team to evaluate Bellefonte Police Department's handling of the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.

The state police Criminal Investigation Analysis Team is made up of a group of highly trained and experienced state police investigators from across the commonwealth. It is their job to go over difficult and yet-unsolved investigations to determine whether any evidence or clues were missed early on, Madeira said.

"I'm not suggesting anything was," said Madeira, who became involved in the case after he was sworn into office in January. Gricar has been missing since April 15, 2005.

A much-hyped "Dateline NBC" segment on the case Saturday night prompted five telephone tips, but none of them resulted in a lead, Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said Tuesday.

The call for an investigative review comes days after the Centre Daily Times, based upon interviews with Gricar's family, friends and co-workers, reported several avenues of investigation that may have been missed. Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni is lead investigator on the case.

"Even since April 15, where we were at a point where we are essentially at a loss, I had thought of taking that step," Madeira said of the investigative team. Informally, such a team has twice before consulted with local authorities, Weaver said.

Weaver, sworn in as police chief in January, welcomed the review by the state police team.

"Maybe it will give us direction, if direction is needed," he said. "It is looking not only at our work, but the work of all of the agencies that have been involved since day one. It's standard protocol in these types of cases and we welcome it."

Gricar family spokesman Tony Gricar has called Bellefonte Police Department's decisions in some instances a "colossal collapse in judgment." Tony Gricar, while he could not be reached for comment Tuesday, has called on Bellefonte police to hand over the investigation to state police or the state's Attorney General's Office.

They potential missed leads, as reported Saturday, include:

u An assistant district attorney who said she is sure she saw Gricar leaving a courthouse parking lot at about 3 p.m. the day he vanished. Police said they dismissed the sighting because it did not fit their timeline of where Gricar supposedly was, at an antiques mall in Lewisburg. Madeira did not know about that reported sighting until Friday.

u Gricar's best friends, Assistant District Attorney Steve Sloane and State College resident Ed Walker, were never interviewed by Zaccagni. Zaccagni has since claimed other investigators talked to the men, but other than a three-hour interview a state police officer conducted with Sloane early in the investigation, Sloane and Walker say they've not been interviewed.

u Zaccagni did not interview all county employees who had regular contact with Gricar, including Centre County Criminal Court Administrator Cheryl Spotts, who told the Centre Daily Times Gricar had been acting strangely a month before he disappeared.

u Zaccagni is not personally monitoring Gricar's checking and savings accounts -- which he held jointly with his daughter, Lara Gricar -- for strange activity. Police are relying the daughter to report any withdrawals she is not responsible for, which experts have called a serious mistake.

Madeira said he wants to be sure nothing was missed.

"This is a group of seasoned state police investigators from around the state," Madeira said. "It will take a look to see what else we can do or what may have been overlooked."

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.





PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:36 PM (GMT)
Without A Trace
Posted: 5/19/2006 8:21:48 AM


In last night's season finale that missing person was the former District Attorney from Centre County, Ray Gricar. His disappearance last year has baffled police. Chris Schaffer has an up-date on the investigation from Centre County.

Ray Gricar has been missing for more than a year; he was the chief law enforcement officer for Centre County. How such a prominent figure could just disappear is a question that's never far from the mind of the man who now occupies that office.

Gricar was a man who seemed to have everything going for him. After more than 20 years in Bellefonte as the DA of Center County, Gricar was just months from retirement.

Then, on April 15th of last year he called his girlfriend at work - told her he was going for a drive, and asked her to make sure to feed the dogs.

Michael Madeira, Centre County D.A.:
"She said O-K I love you, he said, I love you, and that was the last conversation anyone had with him"

His car was found in Lewisburg, near the Susquehanna river, but Gricar was gone - without a trace.

The new DA, Michael Madeira, says investigators have examined three possibilities:

That Gricar killed himself
Was a victim of murder or kidnapping
Simply ran off and started a new life
Madeira:
"Each of those theories have their own set of problems that go with them"

Especially the third option. Gricar's credit cards and his cell phone have not been used since his disappearance.

"The money in his named account, yes it's still there, hasn't been touched"

But if it was a murder, where is the evidence?
If it was a suicide, where is Gricar's body?
Questions that for now, have no answers.

Madeira:
"That's what's most frustrating because you just don't have anything that points to any one particular direction"

A recent story on a national news magazine generated four new tips about the Gricar case. The DA says those tips did not pan out. He says he would welcome any new information from viewers of 'Without A Trace' .


http://www.whptv.com/news/local/story.aspx...21-644B117661D2


PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:36 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/14620664.htm

Posted on Fri, May. 19, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Fox News to feature Gricar disappearance
From CDT staff reports
The disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar will be featured in a segment on Fox News Channel's "The Lineup," at 9 p.m. Sunday.

"The Lineup" host, former San Francisco prosecutor Kimberly Guilfoyle, will conduct live interviews with Centre Daily Times police and courts reporter Pete Bosak, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira, and Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar.

April 15 marked the one-year anniversary of Gricar's disappearance. He was last heard from when his called his girlfriend and co-worker, Patty Fornicola, to tell her he was taking a day off from work and driving through the Bush Valley area. His car was found April 16 in the parking lot of a Lewisburg antiques mall.

The case has drawn new interest from national media in recent weeks, as police revealed they are seeking a woman who a witness says he saw with Gricar in Lewisburg on April 15, and as Centre Daily Times stories have raised questions about avenues that may not have been fully explored by investigators.

Last weekend, Gricar was the focus of a segment that aired on Dateline NBC. On Thursday, the case was profiled on CBS' "Without a Trace," and this morning was discussed on CBS' "The Early Show."





PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:37 PM (GMT)
Posted on Sun, May. 21, 2006



Fight heats up over handling of Gricar mystery
Neighboring counties' district attorneys call for Attorney General's Office to take the case
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com

Thirteen months after former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar disappeared, a battle is brewing over what jurisdiction should be handling the investigation and whether it has been handled correctly by Bellefonte police.

The battle devolved into a war of words Friday between two central Pennsylvania district attorneys and the state Attorney General's Office.

With Bellefonte police admittedly at a dead end, Montour County District Attorney Bob Buehner and Clinton County District Attorney Ted McKnight are calling for Attorney General Tom Corbett to "step up" and take over the investigation into the April 15, 2005, disappearance of the man who was then Centre County's top law-enforcement officer.

"Attorney General Corbett has been too silent for too long," Buehner said.

Corbett's office fired back Friday.

"Apparently District Attorney Buehner doesn't understand the laws of Pennsylvania," said Kevin Harley, Corbett's spokesman. "The district attorneys, not the attorney general, have jurisdiction over missing person and murder cases in Pennsylvania. We have confidence in the ability of District Attorney Michael Madeira and Pennsylvania State Police, who are investigating the disappearance of Ray Gricar."

This infuriated Buehner.

"Tom Corbett is a gutless coward," Buehner said. "He has been too silent for too long. He should be in front. Ray Gricar was my friend, and I want him back."

As for Harley, "I don't need a lecture from some hired flack," Buehner said. "I know the law far better than he does."

For the state attorney general to step in and take over the investigation, one of two requirements would have to be met. First, Centre County would have to argue it does not have the resources needed to investigate the case. Secondly, there would have to be some conflict of interest in a prosecution.

"And neither apply to the Gricar case," Harley said. "From the day District Attorney Gricar was reported missing, Attorney General Corbett has offered the assistance of the Attorney General's Office to the Bellefonte police, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Centre County District Attorney's Office.

"We will not trample on the law as it is spelled out clearly in the commonwealth's Attorneys Act," Harley said. "It is disturbing that Mr. Buehner has resorted to name calling. We will have no further response to Mr. Buehner other than to suggest that he pay attention to crimes in his own county."

Following the law

Corbett is following the law, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said.

"My colleagues would be the first to scream bloody murder if I would suggest the attorney general go into their counties and take over cases," Madeira said.

Madeira served 13 years as a prosecutor with the state Attorney General's Office and has contacts perhaps many other district attorneys do not have -- so Centre County is well-equipped to handle the case, he said.

Buehner said Madeira is a good, hard-working district attorney but is in over his head.

"When I'm in a situation where I need help, I'll seek out all the help I can get," Buehner said. "It's about solving cases. It's not about egos."

Jurisdiction questioned

McKnight is raising another argument -- that Union County, not Centre County, should have jurisdiction. He, too, is calling for Corbett to get involved.

"(Corbett) clearly has the resources that are necessary to do a proper job," McKnight said. "My frustration over the past year has been that Centre County and Bellefonte borough have nothing to do with this case."

Gricar was last heard from April 15, 2005, when he took the day off work. He called his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, to tell her he was taking a drive toward Lewisburg, Union County. His Mini Cooper was found in a parking lot outside an antiques mall the next day. Witnesses reported seeing him at the mall.

Gricar's laptop, minus its hard drive, was found by fishermen in the Susquehanna River. Months later, the hard drive was found along the river banks, too badly damaged for any information to be retrieved from it.

"The reality of this thing, the center of the incident, is Lewisburg, which happens to be Union County," McKnight said.

Madeira strongly disagrees. This remains a missing person case. There is no direct evidence of foul play, Madeira said. Gricar was reported missing in Bellefonte, so it is the Bellefonte Police Department's case, Madeira said.

On top of that, the Lewisburg Police Department doesn't want the case.

"I was happy to let Bellefonte run with it because he was a district attorney in Centre County and most interviews were done over there," Lewisburg Police Chief Paul Yost said. "We based it off the agency that had the best working knowledge of the individual. And that was Bellefonte police."

Union County District Attorney Pete Johnson could not be reached for comment, despite repeated attempts over two days.

The jurisdiction issue gets even more complicated when you consider where Gricar's car was found and where his laptop was discovered -- in the Susquehanna River.

"My jurisdiction goes up to the river," Yost said. "All that happened in my jurisdiction is he parked his car here. Now if someone threw (the laptop into the river) from the shoreline, it would be my jurisdiction. If it was thrown from the bridge, then it would be Pennsylvania State Police in Milton. So it kind of moves across jurisdictions pretty quickly.

"But I don't believe the investigation was hampered at all by jurisdictional issues," he said.

Yost said his department, state police at Milton and other barracks helped in the investigation, and Lewisburg police remain ready to help Bellefonte police with anything they may need.

"I'm sure if he (Bellefonte police Chief Shawn Weaver) needs any help, he knows we're here to help," Yost said.

Foul play?

Yost has a theory of what became of Gricar.

"Unless he is extremely good at disappearing, he was the victim of foul play," Yost said.

Police several times last summer searched the Susquehanna River, which flows near the antiques mall, for signs of Gricar. If the shallow, heavily used river played a role in Gricar's disappearance, it would be known by now, Yost said.

"I grew up beside this river," Yost said. "It can hold its secrets for a long time. But if he was in there, you'd think somebody would have found him by now."

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.






--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

© 2006 Centre Daily Times and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
http://www.centredaily.com


PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:38 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/12208767.htm

Posted on Sun, Jul. 24, 2005
Gricar mystery fading from memories in Lewisburg
By Mike Joseph
mjoseph@centredaily.com

CDT/Mike Joseph
Four detectives investigating the disappearance of Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar confer Tuesday, April 19, 2005, in the parking lot across the street from the Street of Shops antiques mall in Lewisburg.LEWISBURG -- Thick weeds crowd the Susquehanna River banks, and the water rides much lower than it did 14 weeks ago, revealing a log here and a boulder there that in spring were sunken and out of sight.

But there's no sign of Ray Gricar.

The riverside moorings have long been cleared of last winter's clinging debris, and two popular boating holidays -- Memorial Day and the Fourth of July -- have come and gone since the Centre County district attorney vanished after taking a Friday off from work and driving here, an hour east of Bellefonte.

There's been no sign of him since, and the vortex of the unexplained that once pulled in detectives, rescue crews, reporters and the neighborhood curious no longer consumes so much attention.

Or so it seemed last week at an antiques mall restaurant, the Remember When Cafe, where police think the district attorney was last seen.

"So how's the search for Ray Gricar going?" a reporter asked waitress Bobi Keiser.

"For who?" Keiser said.

"Ray Gricar."

"Oh, is that that DA guy?"

"Yes."

"You don't hear too much about it any more."

The restaurant, a milkshake and hamburger stop that spotlights nostalgia for Elvis Presley and other rock 'n' roll icons, was not quite ready to open on the weekend Gricar disappeared. On that Saturday, April 16, antiques mall owner Craig Bennett stopped by about noon to check on the last phase of construction.

Bennett noticed a man standing eight to 10 feet away. The man stood there five to 10 minutes, neither shopping nor browsing. When Bellefonte detectives converged on the Street of Shops antiques mall after Gricar disappeared, Bennett told them repeatedly that the man fit the district attorney's description.

Last week, Bennett remained steadfast in his recollection. Bennett saw nothing else that was relevant. He didn't see the man interact with anyone, and he didn't notice how the man came to leave the mall. But Bennett's apparent sighting of Gricar -- detectives call it a "visual on Ray" -- has given him an eyes-on connection to the mystery and, for a time, helped fuel hope that Gricar may be alive somewhere.

"He looked anxious," Bennett said last week. "He was not a relaxed person. He was waiting for someone."

Bennett dismisses suggestions that Gricar may have jumped off a nearby bridge into the Susquehanna River or otherwise drowned there. With water only about 30 inches deep now, the river bottom shows quite clearly from above, and fish can be easily spotted navigating their way through the deepest of quite shallow channels.

"They would have found him if he'd jumped," Bennett said.

Detectives have had less and less presence in the area as the time has gone by, but Bennett did notice plain-clothes agents nosing around one day within the past month.

Gricar's car, a red-and-white Mini Cooper, was found in the antiques mall parking lot after he disappeared -- one of the case's few anchoring facts around which many have tried to lash their theories, however inconclusive.

"How can something so bizarre happen and still be unexplained at this time?" Bennett said. "Somebody knows. That car didn't beam itself down here. It got here somehow."

In the oaken taproom of the Lewisburg Hotel, two blocks from the antiques mall, radio station owner Don Steese and bartender Terri Peterson chatted over the lunch hour.

The small talk had nothing to do with Gricar, though Steese and Peterson allowed that three months ago it might have.

"That's yesterday's news -- not top of mind any more," Steese said.

Peterson joked that Gricar was probably off somewhere with Elvis or Jim Morrison, another rock star who died young, but then she got serious. She recalled how, in the early days of the investigation, detectives asked her and others at the hotel to try to remember whether they'd seen Gricar.

The bar gets fairly crowded on weekends, Peterson said, especially with middle-aged men, and she hadn't been able to help the police.

"I wish I could have said, 'Yes, I saw him,' but I couldn't," she said. "How would I know if he was in here? I see how many people a day ... ?"


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Mike Joseph can be reached at 235-3910.




PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:39 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/13364699.htm

Posted on Fri, Dec. 09, 2005
Hard drive fails to help Gricar case
Hardware too heavily damaged to retrieve data, experts say
By Erin L. Nissley
enissley@centredaily.com
Experts were unable to pull any data off a hard drive thought to belong to Ray Gricar's county-issued laptop because of the heavy damage it sustained in the months since the district attorney's disappearance.

The news dashed local investigators' hopes that the hard drive, found in October along the banks of the Susquehanna River, might give them a better picture of the circumstances surrounding Gricar's April disappearance.

"They got it apart and cleaned it," Zaccagni said. "But it was so damaged ... the water and grit pretty much destroyed it."

After the hard drive was found in Lewisburg, state police attempted to examine it but were unsuccessful. They sent the hard drive to the Secret Service in Philadelphia, who forwarded it to a special lab in California run as a joint effort among the Secret Service, the FBI and the Los Angeles police.

Zaccagni, who spoke to a Secret Service agent Thursday, said experts say they are almost certain they will be unable to retrieve any information off the hard drive, although they plan to try "one or two other things they've never done before" before giving up. He expects to receive an official report and the hard drive within the next week.

Special Agent J.J. Klaver, based in Philadelphia, said the FBI does not comment on another agency's cases nor on ongoing investigations. He said he could not confirm that the FBI ever analyzed the hard drive found in Lewisburg.

Calls to the Secret Service office in Philadelphia were not returned Thursday.

Gricar was last heard from about 11:30 a.m. April 15, when he called his office and spoke to girlfriend and housemate Patty Fornicola. She said he told her he was taking a drive in the couple's red-and-white Mini Cooper. She called police to report him missing about 12 hours later. The car was found in a Lewisburg parking lot a day later.

Police are still treating Gricar's disappearance as a missing persons case, because there is no strong information pointing to homicide, suicide or any other type of death.

Because experts were unable to access any information from the hard drive, police can't even confirm that the hard drive came from Gricar's laptop computer. The computer, minus its hard drive, was found by fishermen in the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg in July. The hard drive was later found about 100 yards from where the computer was found. It is the same make and model as the laptop.

"It looks like a duck and walks like a duck, but it won't quack for us," Zaccagni said. "We're pretty much right where we were before -- nothing."

The news didn't surprise Fornicola and Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar.

"We're all pretty nonplussed by it," Tony Gricar said. "It seems to be the way everything goes in this case."

Fornicola said she knew the hard drive was damaged but still was hoping experts would be able to pull some information from it.

Where the investigation goes from here is anyone's guess. Bellefonte police have received no new tips about the case, Zaccagni said. They continue to look into names they've received as "people of interest," but Zaccagni declined to give specifics. He said the department is not planning to take a harder look at Gricar's previous and pending cases, which span two decades.

"Bellefonte just doesn't have the manpower to go through the thousands of cases," Zaccagni said.

He added that he welcomed any help from outside agencies, including the U.S. Justice Department. State Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia, sent a letter Dec. 2 to that agency asking for investigators there to take a closer look at Gricar's disappearance.

Police are planning a meeting soon to review the case. Taking part in the meeting will be the borough's new police chief, Shawn Weaver, and Michael Madeira, who will succeed Gricar as district attorney in January, Zaccagni said.

"It'll be a chance to review where we've been and bounce ideas off new people," Zaccagni said. "They might have new ideas, too."


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Erin L. Nissley can be reached at 231-4616.




PorchlightUSA - July 8, 2006 10:39 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...ar/14664993.htm

Posted on Thu, May. 25, 2006
Gricar mystery gets a novel new twist
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
BELLEFONTE -- In yet another odd twist in the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar, his nephew confirmed Wednesday that a legal book containing information on replacing a district attorney was found on the desk of an assistant district attorney the day after Gricar vanished.

Assistant District Attorney Mark Smith, wondering where the book came from, grasped both covers and turned it upside down, in hopes of finding what page it had last been opened to, Tony Gricar said he was told by police.

The book opened to the statute detailing how to replace a dead or retired district attorney, Tony Gricar said.

With rumors about the book swirling through the courthouse and beyond this week, Tony Gricar said he'd placed a call to borough police to find out why the information, which he's known for some time, is coming out now.

"We don't know who put it there," Tony Gricar said.

"It was on Mark Smith's desk. But it still doesn't get us anywhere. It's surprising this got out there."

Bellefonte police would not confirm or deny the account. Smith served as acting Centre County district attorney after Ray Gricar's disappearance until District Attorney Michael Madeira took office in January. Smith could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

"This has been investigated, and it is part of the ongoing investigation," Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said Wednesday. "Police simply cannot give out every piece of information on the case or else we could jeopardize the investigation."

The rumors contain inaccuracies -- the story being spread is that the book was found on Gricar's desk, open to the page detailing how to replace a district attorney. "That's not true," Weaver said. "But something similar." He would not elaborate.

Madeira said he first heard the rumor during his campaign for district attorney. "I'd heard it," Madeira said. "But it never crossed my mind this was serious. I'm going to look into it."

Gricar vanished April 15, 2005, after calling his girlfriend to tell her he was taking a drive through Brush Valley. His car was found in Lewisburg the next day. Authorities say they still have no idea what happened to him.

Madeira has called for a state police Criminal Investigation Analysis Team to review the work of the Bellefonte Police Department and other jurisdictions who have aided in the investigation. A time for that review has not yet been set, Madeira said.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.



ELL - July 21, 2006 01:45 AM (GMT)
user posted image



Ray F. Gricar
AKA:
Missing Since: 4/15/2005
Sex Male Race White
Age 59 Age 60
(At time missing)

(Current)


Hgt 6Ft1In Wgt 172
Hair Grey Eye Brown

Gricar grew up in the suburbs of Cleveland, attended the University of Dayton and got his law degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. He was an assistant prosecutor for the city of Cleveland, and then for Cuyahoga County, Ohio. He prosecuted dozens of homicide cases. Gricar went to Pennsylvania's Centre County in 1980, first as an assistant district attorney. - Ray's last known communication was a phone call stating he was, "on 192 and wouldn’t make it back to take care of Honey.". Honey is the family dog. - His Centre County-issued Micron brand laptop computer is missing. The case, power supply, and associated cables are accounted for. - Thursday evening, April 14, 2005 was the last known surveillance video of any kind. Ray was seen entering and exiting the Centre County administrative building, wearearing blue jeans and the blue fleece jacket. If you have information regarding the disappearance of Centre County, Pennsylvania District Attorney Ray F. Gricar, please contact the Bellefonte Police Department at (814) 353-2320 or your local law enforcement agency. You can find more pictures and infomation @ www.raygricar.com

Law Enforcement Agency:
Report Number:
Reward:
Contact: Centre County, Pennsylvania (814) 353-2320
Leave a tip about this Missing Person.
http://www.ohiomissingadults.com/

PorchlightUSA - September 16, 2006 09:51 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily...al/15513643.htm

Posted on Thu, Sep. 14, 2006email thisprint thisreprint or license this
Gricar review remains undone
Investigators set to evaluate handling of case
By Pete Bosak
pbosak@centredaily.com
Gricar case forum with Pete Bosak
Happy Valley: No priority in Gricar case
BELLEFONTE -- A state police team of investigators looking into Bellefonte Police Department's handling of the Ray Gricar disappearance now is not scheduled to meet until the middle of October.

While he had hoped the team of elite criminal investigators would have met by now for an in-depth review of the investigation into the disappearance of the former district attorney, Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira said he is not concerned about the time the troopers' review is taking.

"I'm willing to let it take whatever time it takes," said Madeira, who requested the review.

Gricar seemed to vanish without a trace after calling his live-in girlfriend on April 15, 2005, to say he was taking a drive along state Route 192 toward Lewisburg and would not be home to walk their dog that afternoon.

His Mini Cooper was found outside an antiques mall in Lewisburg the next day, but there was no sign of what happened to Gricar.

Family spokesman Tony Gricar, Ray Gricar's nephew, said he also is not troubled by the time it is taking troopers -- gathered from across the state -- to review the investigation.

"I want them to do it right," Gricar said. "I hope the reason it has been pushed out from June to mid-October is due diligence."

Gricar renewed his call for Pennsylvania State Police to take over the investigation into his uncle's disappearance. He said Bellefonte police are only reacting to information that is given to them rather than aggressively investigating at this point because they do not have the resources. Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said no new information has been provided to his department. And Tony Gricar said the family also has heard nothing of late.

"Not a thing," Tony Gricar said. "Obviously, that's frustrating."

The state police team has gathered material from Bellefonte police and have conducted interviews, Madeira said. But it has not yet been able to coordinate a meeting of the troopers to meet and discuss the investigation. The meeting set for mid-October could last three days.

Madeira said nothing from that meeting likely will be made public immediately. The review is to determine whether anything may have been missed by Bellefonte police in their search for the missing prosecutor.

Pete Bosak can be reached at 235-3928.


ELL - November 22, 2006 11:37 AM (GMT)
DA still considered a missing person


Bellefonte police Chief Shawn Weaver and Centre County District Attorney Michael Madeira
Barry L. Reeger/Tribune-Review

By Robin Acton
TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Wednesday, November 22, 2006


BELLEFONTE -- Nineteen months after he vanished, former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar still is considered a missing person by investigators who promised Tuesday that the case "will not grow cold."
District Attorney Michael Madeira said the Bellefonte police will continue to lead the investigation and take a fresh look at evidence reviewed at his request last week by the state police's Criminal Investigation Assessment Unit.

The unit -- 17 investigators with more than 200 years' combined experience -- reviewed the demographics, the timeline and reports from interviews with witnesses and "persons of interest" related to the case, Madeira said. Investigators examined Gricar's phone, computer and financial records and information concerning his behavior prior to April 15, 2005, when he was reported missing by his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, a clerk in his office.

The review produced no new evidence to suggest what happened to Gricar.





"We were under no illusion that the case would be solved, but we wanted to provide a fresh set of eyes to suggest leads," Madeira said. "I think the family has understood that this may never be solved. ... He may be alive. He may be dead."

He said the unit recommended several investigative strategies but will not issue a formal report of the review that he insisted "was not a critique of the Bellefonte police." He said the review concluded that all of the local, state and federal agencies involved in the investigation have done a "thorough job" with the evidence.

Bellefonte police Chief Shawn Weaver refused to speculate as to whether Gricar is alive or dead but called him "a missing person." He said authorities will continue to pursue three avenues: suicide, homicide or that Gricar is still alive somewhere.

"Nothing has been eliminated," Weaver said. "We're going to look at some things from a different angle."

Weaver, who joined the force 10 months ago, said he cannot estimate the number of hours the officers in his 10-member department and investigators from other agencies have put into the probe. However, he said police "will devote resources to this case as long as there is evidence."

Family spokesman Tony Gricar, of Dayton, Ohio, said that he is pleased authorities are attempting to advance the case but expressed disappointment that the borough police will continue to lead the investigation into his uncle's disappearance.

"If Bellefonte's handling it, I'm not sure if that's a fresh set of eyes," he said.

Ray Gricar, who had served as district attorney for two decades, was eight months away from retirement when Fornicola reported him missing after he went for a drive on his day off and didn't return to their home.

The next day, his car was found about an hour's drive from Bellefonte in the parking lot of a Lewisburg antiques mall. That August, his government-issued laptop computer -- with its hard drive missing -- was found by fishermen in the Susquehanna River in Lewisburg.

In the months after Gricar's disappearance, authorities received a number of tips from people who reported sightings of the missing man as far away as Texas.

"I can't say that any of the sightings were credible. We heard everything, frankly, from the sublime to the ridiculous," Madeira said.



Robin Acton can be reached at racton@tribweb.com or 724-830-6295.

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburgh...n/s_480929.html

ELL - January 26, 2007 04:15 PM (GMT)
New investigator chosen to head missing DA case


By Halle Stockton
Collegian Staff Writer
For more than a year and eight months, one man has led the search for the missing former Centre County district attorney, but the investigation will soon shift to new hands within the Bellefonte Police Department.

Bellefonte Police Det. Darrel Zaccagni led the investigation into the 2005 disappearance of Ray Gricar, who called his girlfriend one afternoon to say he'd be late but never came home. Because of Zaccagni's approaching retirement, Bellefonte police have been prepping a new point person for the case -- Bellefonte Police Det. Matt Rickard.

Bellefonte Police Chief Shawn Weaver said the transfer will not affect the investigation "whatsoever."

"Rickard has been working with the case since the beginning," he said. "I envisioned this happening in the future so I made [Rickard] more involved in the case."

Rickard has followed up on leads for the duration of the investigation and was involved at a November meeting with Pennsylvania State Police, assessing the investigation thus far, Weaver said.

"So he is pretty much up to speed with every aspect of the case," he added.

Gricar was last heard from April 15, when he called his longtime girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, to tell her he wouldn't be home in time to feed their dog and that he was taking a drive on Route 192. His red-and-white mini cooper was found outside an antiques market in Lewisburg the next day. Gricar was nowhere to be found.

Neither Rickard nor Zaccagni were available for comment yesterday.

Tony Gricar, Ray Gricar's nephew and family spokesman, said he has mixed feelings about the case changing hands.

"Zaccagni retiring mid-case, it makes things a little difficult from an informational standpoint," he said. "But, we have been calling all along for a second set, a fresh set of eyes. You can't help but hope that this is a positive for the case."

But Tony Gricar said he is appreciative of Zaccagni's work.

"[Zaccagni] is a great guy and really did a lot to keep the family in the loop early on in the case," he said.

Fornicola declined to comment on Zaccagni's retirement from the police force and the investigation.

Several leads in the case have trickled in since Ray Gricar's disappearance, but they have provided no answers. Weaver said he could not comment on any new information but said police are following leads weekly and tips come in "sporadically."

The last major developments occurred when Gricar's laptop, without the hard drive, was found in the Susquehenna River in July. The hard drive was found in October about 100 yards from the laptop's location.

Weaver added that Zaccagni, who was with the Bellefonte Police Department for 28 years, will assume a new position as a school resource officer, primarily at Bellefonte High School.

http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2007/...-07dnews-03.asp

PorchlightUSA - April 23, 2007 02:11 AM (GMT)
Yesterday was the second anniversary of the disappearance of former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.

As time has passed, hopes of finding Gricar alive and well have faded. The number of leads and tips police can follow has dwindled to nearly nothing. Even the hopes of Gricar's family -- his nephews and daughter -- have dimmed, and they say they've begun to face the reality that this case, if ever solved, will not have a good outcome.

The case, because of the anniversary, has recently received attention on some national television shows, and in central Pennsylvania newspapers, TV and radio stations. It's gotten that kind of attention often before. Before, however, there always seemed to be the hope that the publicity would lead to some break in the case.

This time, we're not hearing many people express that hope.

****

http://www.centredaily.com/126/story/70200.html

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:20 PM (GMT)
Missing prosecutor now in Michigan?

By: Associated Press Writer

06/11/2005



BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) - Police searching for a missing district attorney said Wednesday that they have received their best lead in nearly two months after he was reportedly sighted in Michigan.



A man and his daughter reported seeing Centre County prosecutor Ray F. Gricar with an older woman at a restaurant on May 27 in Southfield, Mich., a Detroit suburb, Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni said Wednesday.



Gricar, 59, has been missing since April 15, after taking a drive from his home in Bellefonte. His car was found the next day near an antique store he frequented in Lewisburg, about 45 miles from Bellefonte.



Hundreds of tips on his whereabouts have come in since then, but Zaccagni said, "This is an important one. I give this probably one of our most credible sightings yet."



Still, he added, "None of us are getting our hopes up that high because we're talking seven weeks now."



Police in Michigan followed up with the two witnesses, who told authorities they thought it was Gricar because they saw his picture on TV after arriving home from their meal.



The male witness was e-mailed eight photos from Bellefonte police in the last week which included a picture of Gricar as well as several other similar-looking men. The witness picked out Gricar's picture, said Zaccagni, the lead investigator in the case.



But Bellefonte Police Det. Thomas Thal told the Centre Daily Times in Thursday's editions that the witnesses had been researching the Gricar case and saw pictures of him on the Internet before looking at the photo lineup.



"I thought it was pretty good at first," said Thal, adding he wasn't sure if the sighting was legitimate. "You never want witnesses looking at photos of a subject before picking them out of a lineup."



Michigan police have since returned to the restaurant and showed Gricar's picture to employees, some of whom told authorities that the man in the picture looked familiar.



Zaccagni said Wednesday those factors gave the reported sighting added credibility. Police consider the last credible sightings of Gricar to be in the Lewisburg area in the days after he was reported missing.

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:21 PM (GMT)


Use of Psychics rare among police, but many are open to idea



GENARO C. ARMAS



Associated Press



BELLEFONTE, Pa. - The mystery of a missing district attorney has police officer Darrel Zaccagni consulting a psychic almost every day.



Zaccagni says he started talking to a psychic about the disappearance of Centre County prosecutor Ray F. Gricar at the request of the family. He knows some cops might chide him for it, but adds, "We've said from day one we will use any tool available to us to find Ray."



While the use of psychics in high-profile investigations isn't new, it's also not common. Their involvement can place some police in a tough spot, balancing a worried family's wishes against a police officer's skepticism.



"Generally, most detectives aren't impressed," said Scott Thornsley, an associate professor of criminal justice at Mansfield University who teaches a course on serial murderers. "They are not sought out because they are not scientific and don't represent a practitioner's viewpoint."



Still, Thornsley conceded that a psychic's unorthodox methods can spark new questions in detectives who, by training, focus on collecting hard facts and evidence.



"It takes someone very strong to say, 'I don't know where else to go' or 'It can't hurt - maybe a psychic will expand my imagination,'" he said.



Michael Deppe, a spokesman for the law enforcement group Professionals Against Confidence Crime, is a skeptic. His group recommends police using a psychic "examine and be suspect of the psychic's movements and abilities."



Carla Baron, a psychic, got involved in the Gricar case about a week after his disappearance on April 15. Gricar's car was found the next day in Lewisburg, about 45 miles from his home in Bellefonte.



Short on leads, police so far say they don't think the disappearance is connected to any of his cases.



Zaccagni was familiar with Baron because she had been used in the investigation of Cindy Song, a Penn State student who disappeared in 2001 and is still missing.



Baron, based in California, has told police she thinks Gricar is dead. In a phone interview, Baron said she thinks Gricar was taken from Lewisburg to a warehouse about 20 minutes away.



Her suggestions about the warehouse were checked out by police and family members. They say they found locations similar to Baron's description, but no evidence that Gricar may have been there.



Some of her descriptions have matched some unpublished witness accounts from police reports, Zaccagni said. Among them: reports that Gricar was seen getting in another car in Lewisburg, and the type of vehicle; and the fact that a trace amount of cigarette ash was found on the floor of Gricar's Mini Cooper when it was found. Gricar was not a smoker.



Baron uses what she calls "remote viewing" to visualize things about the case over the phone. Often just a name and place are enough information, and she uses tarot cards, she says.



"I don't wear a black robe and I don't carry a crystal ball," Baron said.



Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, 33, of Dayton, Ohio, says the involvement of the psychic in the case is positive, but also indicates there's very little evidence.



"A lot of us are expecting the worst-case scenario," he said. "Everything above and beyond that is a bonus."



Loyd Auerbach, a director with the Paranormal Research Organization, sometimes gets calls from law enforcement agencies asking for references on psychics. His group includes psychics as well as those involved in the investigations of ghosts and hauntings, he said.



"It doesn't matter whether you believe it or not. If it's useful information, then it's useful," Auerbach said.



He likens the use of a psychic by police to someone following a diet out of a book; the diet works for some people, and it doesn't work for others.



It didn't work for Steve Mauldin, chief investigator for the Turner County, Ga., sheriff's office, even though a psychic discovered a man's body in a lake in March. The lake had been searched by authorities before and Mauldin called the find a coincidence.



The psychic, Lynn Ann Maker, was contacted by Greg Wallace's family over the Internet and she wasn't hired by police. Mauldin says he's upset with Maker because she told media she thought Wallace was murdered; authorities say there is no sign of foul play.



A phone number for Maker couldn't be found, and her former Web site couldn't be viewed Monday.



In Moffat County, Colo., undersheriff Jerry Hoberg says he has pursued a couple of tips from a psychic working with the family of Marie Blee, who disappeared at age 15 after not returning from a dance on Nov. 21, 1979. Hoberg says his department doesn't deal with the psychic directly.



Authorities there have searched sites that psychics have said might be important, but have come up short, said Hoberg, whose department reopened the case in 1999.



"I don't disbelieve in it, but someone needs to really prove it before I believe it totally," Hoberg said.



www.centredaily.com/mld/c...884836.htm

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:21 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/11915004.htm

Family downplays Gricar sighting



Posted on Fri, Jun. 17, 2005





By Erin L. Nissley



enissley@centredaily.com





BELLEFONTE -- Another reported sighting of Ray Gricar -- this time at a Columbus, Ohio, grocery store -- temporarily raised the hopes of family and police this week, although surveillance tapes have led his nephews to believe the man seen is not Centre County's missing district attorney.



A woman called Bellefonte police last weekend to say she thought Gricar was in a Meijer store on June 7, according to Bellefonte police officer Darrel Zaccagni. She had seen a news report about Gricar's disappearance and had recognized the photo of Gricar as a man she'd seen in the store.



Gricar was last heard from April 15, when he called his girlfriend and housemate, Patty Fornicola, to say he was taking a drive in the Brush Valley area. She called police when he hadn't returned home at 11:30 p.m. The red-and-white Mini Cooper he was driving was found the next day in Lewisburg.



Police have investigated several reported sightings they think may be credible -- in Lewisburg on April 16, in Wilkes-Barre on April 19 and, most recently, in Southfield, Mich., on May 27.



Security officers at Meijer pulled surveillance tapes for the times the woman said she was in the store. Gricar's nephews Tony and Chris Gricar, who both live in Ohio, drove to the store to view the tape this week.



Ray Gricar is from Cleveland.



"We lent it a little more credence," Tony Gricar said of the sighting. "It's an area he knows somewhat."



But after seeing the man on the tape, both said they were positive it was not their uncle.



"The guy was very, very similar to Ray," Tony Gricar said. "Chris and I had to look at it quite a lot, from different angles."



Even so, Zaccagni said Meijer security officers are shipping the tape to the Bellefonte Police Department for further investigation.



"We had what we thought was a really good lead," he said.



Still under investigation is a reported sighting of Gricar in Southfield, Mich., near Detroit. A man told police he thought he saw Gricar and an older woman, possibly in her 70s, eating dinner at a restaurant. The man picked Gricar's photo out of an eight-photo array compiled by police but had seen photos of Gricar and a newscast on the Fox News Channel about the case before looking at the lineup, police said. Restaurant employees there were shown photos of Gricar by police in Southfield and said he looked familiar.



Zaccagni said police have been unable to find the restaurant bill for the man who may have been Gricar. There have been no other reported sightings of Gricar in the area.



"As time goes on, it looks less and less likely" that it was a legitimate sighting, Zaccagni said. "It's hard to say for sure."



Tony Gricar said he's grateful for all the tips he and police have received. The Web site set up by the family, www.raygricar.com, has garnered dozens of tips, he said.



"There are so many people around the country who want to help," he said. "We take everything seriously."



Tony Gricar said he has been spending about 30 hours a week talking to police, family members and others, answering e-mails sent through the site, and doing research on his own.



"Sometimes, this is almost like a full-time job," he said. "My cell phone bill in the last two months, it's about $900."

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:22 PM (GMT)
DA calls Gricar case 'foul play'



Wednesday, June 22, 2005

BY FORD TURNER

Of The Patriot-News



Ted McKnight has been a district attorney for 22 years; Ray Gricar for 20.



Their counties, Clinton and Centre, adjoin. Their caseloads are rooted in demographically similar populations. They know each other personally, having worked together on an underage-drinking initiative that drew national attention.



That is why, for McKnight, Gricar's mid-April disappearance triggered a gut reaction that continues to grow stronger.



"I don't feel there is any other explanation, except that he is the object of foul play," McKnight said yesterday.



Gricar was last seen in Bellefonte, Centre County, where he lived and worked, on April 15. The car he had been driving was found the next day in Lewisburg.



Federal, state and local law enforcement agencies joined in an intensive search that so far has failed to turn up any solid evidence on Gricar's whereabouts.



In recent weeks, police followed up on two reported Gricar sightings, according to Bellefonte Police Officer Darrel Zaccagni.



A woman on a gambling visit to Atlantic City said a man playing a slot machine near her looked like Gricar. He said he had won a $4,000 jackpot.



Zaccagni said a check with casino officials turned up no evidence Gricar had been there, and people familiar with Gricar said he did not gamble.



The second sighting was in a large store in Ohio, where a customer saw a man who looked like Gricar, Zaccagni said. A review of a store security videotape revealed a man who bore a resemblance to the missing district attorney.



Later, nephews of Gricar viewed the videotape, Zaccagni said. They "picked up on several things that told them it wasn't Ray," Zaccagni said, including the man's hairline, weight and mannerisms.



Photos of Gricar are posted on a Web site, www.raygricar.com. Bellefonte police, who have jurisdiction over the missing persons case, have, at the suggestion of Gricar's family, had conversations with a psychic about Gricar's possible whereabouts.



Zaccagni said there are no solid leads.



"We are reacting to information we receive. At this point, there is not a whole lot more we can do," Zaccagni said.



McKnight said Gricar frequently attended meetings of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. The next one, scheduled for next week in Gettysburg, would have been Gricar's last, because he intended to retire at the end of the year.



McKnight said he was sure the DA's will discuss Gricar's disappearance to determine "whether there is anything we can do."



FORD TURNER: 255-8486 or fturner@patriot-news.com


PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:22 PM (GMT)
Psychic says missing man was killed

tinyurl.com/9x6w5



Sunday, June 26, 2005



Carla Baron, the psychic profiler working on the Ray Gricar case, believes the missing 59-year-old district attorney was killed. Here is the scenario she laid out for what could have happened to him:



Gricar, who planned to retire at the end of this year, stumbled upon information of an illegal scheme that threatened the income of several people involved in a criminal network over a period of years. He got the information four to six weeks before his disappearance and planned to talk to someone in higher government.



Those in the criminal network found out that Gricar was on to them, and they were following him.



"It was too much of a danger to them and their operation," Baron said. "At the root of this is a lot of money."



Baron doesn't believe they planned to kidnap Gricar on April 15, the day he disappeared, but because he drove out of town, the opportunity presented itself.



When Gricar parked his car at the antique shop in Lewisburg, he was approached by two men in a tan, four-door car. The driver leaned in Gricar's passenger window and showed him a gun beneath his shirt.



"I could see the hairs on the guy's arm leaning in," she said.



Apparently, the man threatened Gricar, who left with them in their car.



A man in the back seat used plastic ties to secure Gricar's hands behind his back.



"The reason he went with them, he didn't want any harm to come to the people he loved," Baron said. "The threat was on the table."



She believes the men then took Gricar to a large warehouse where they do business.



Baron sees a series of bay doors that roll up, as well as people standing around writing on clipboards. She believes a road runs parallel to the warehouse and there are railroad tracks that go up and slope back down again. She thinks Route 15 will come into play, and she also sees an underpass with concrete buttresses.



Baron believes the attackers copied what was on Gricar's laptop computer, which police have been unable to find, and then destroyed it.



She believes they killed Gricar that night and buried him in a shallow grave near their workplace so they could keep an eye on it.



"The same people that picked up Ray are not the ones that killed him," Baron said. "I have a feeling we're going to find them and connect them to this before we find Ray."



She believes Gricar's body is five to 15 minutes away from the spot in Lewisburg where his car was found.



-- Paula Reed Ward


PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:23 PM (GMT)
Police say only one sighting of missing DA is 'credible'



Sunday, June 26, 2005

By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



He's reportedly been seen in Michigan, Ohio, Maryland and Virginia. But in all but one of those instances, Michigan, police were able to prove beyond doubt that the man people saw was not missing Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.



Gricar disappeared April 15. The red and white Mini Cooper he was driving was found the next evening in a parking lot outside an antique shop in Lewisburg, Union County, about 50 miles from, Bellefonte, the Centre County seat.



Police found no signs of a struggle in or around the car, and they spent days searching by air and on foot along the Susquehanna River. No evidence was found, and there has been no activity on any of Gricar's credit cards or bank accounts.



Since then, people have called Bellefonte police from all over the East Coast, saying they thought they had seen him.



The recent sighting police have been unable to rule out is the one in Michigan, where a retired Detroit police officer who also worked as a composite artist said he saw a man who looked familiar to him at a restaurant May 27 in Southfield, Mich.



The man was dining with an older woman, who appeared to be in her 70s. That night, after dinner, the retired officer turned on his TV set and saw a feature on Gricar's disappearance.



"As soon as the picture popped up, he said, 'That's the person I'm talking about,' " said Bellefonte police Chief Duane Dixon. The Detroit officer later picked Gricar's picture out of a photo lineup.



"It's a credible sighting," Dixon said. "Am I 100 percent sure? No. There are a lot of people out there who look just like other people."



For example, there was a supposed sighting at a grocery store in Columbus, Ohio, about 3 p.m. June 7. A shopper said she thought she saw Gricar in the deli department.



Gricar's nephew, Chris Gricar, 31, who lives in Columbus, reviewed security-camera videotaken from five spots in the store.



"My brother and I had to really take a hard look at the tape," said Tony Gricar, 33, another nephew, who lives in Dayton.



They could tell by the man's waistline and hairline that it was not their uncle.



"You could just have easily said that was Ray," Tony Gricar said. "It was that convincing."



Tips have been coming in with less frequency lately, as the national spotlight has turned away from the case. Tony Gricar set up a Web site, www.raygricar.com, so people could e-mail tips and look at photographs of his uncle. He gets about 10 e-mails a day, many of them from well-wishers showing support for the family.



Ray Gricar is divorced and has a daughter in Seattle. At the time of his disappearance, he was living with his girlfriend.



Police continue to work whatever information they receive.



"Everything that could be done at this point has been," Dixon said. "Sooner or later, you really do run out of things to work on."



That's one of the reasons the family requested, and the police department readily agreed, to bring in a psychic. They chose Carla Baron, who grew up in Lock Haven, Clinton County, and four years ago worked on the case of a missing Penn State University student, Cindy Song, who has not been found.



"She was brought in a heck of a lot quicker than you might typically see," Tony Gricar said. "We recognized in the first week there was nothing to provide direction."



Tony Gricar says he hopes Baron can help the family.



"I've always positioned myself as being cautiously optimistic," he said.



Baron has told the family and police that she believes Ray Gricar is dead, a murder victim.



"She's also said she hopes she's wrong for everyone's sake," said Officer Darrel Zaccagni, the lead investigator on the case.



Generally, Tony Gricar said, the feeling within his family is that his uncle is dead. He hopes, though, that it wasn't homicide.



"We're kind of preparing ourselves for worst-case scenarios," he said.



Initially, Tony Gricar and his brother, Chris, thought their uncle might have killed himself. Their father, Roy, who was Ray Gricar's brother, killed himself nine years ago. The difference, Tony Gricar said, is that his father battled bipolar disorder for 20 years before his death. That was not the case with his uncle.



Turning to a psychic is sometimes looked upon as wasteful within law enforcement, said Robert McCrie, a professor of security management at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.



There is no scientific evidence to support the use of psychics, McCrie said, despite generations of people trying to find it. But in cases where all other means have been exhausted, using a psychic can't hurt, as long as investigators continue to work the case and don't waste their resources.



"In cases of unusual murders and lost persons, if police are confused or don't have any leads to follow, they turn to unusual means," McCrie said. "Generally, police are under pressure to do something."



Psychics who have been successful, like detectives who are successful, have "unusually developed deductive powers," McCrie said.



Baron, 44, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, calls herself a psychic profiler. She is a direct intuitive who is able to retrieve pieces of information through remote viewing, just by talking to the lead investigator of a case, or the victim's family members. She can work with them over the phone.



"I'm reading what's been imprinted on the ethers of time and space," she said.



The information she learns comes to her as disconnected items, and then it's up to her and investigators to assemble them into a workable scenario.



"We basically use her as a tool to tie into whatever other evidence we come up with," Zaccagni said.



Police continue to work with the information from Baron, as well as any other sources.



"We have not ruled out anything," Dixon said. "If Ray's still out there and felt he had to get away, God bless him. Would we be a little mad? Yeah. [But] I hope that's the case here."



(Paula Reed Ward can be reached at pward@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1601.)

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:23 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/12007009.htm

Gricar tips lead to dead ends, police say



Posted on Tue, Jun. 28, 2005





By Erin L. Nissley



BELLEFONTE -- Reported sightings of District Attorney Ray Gricar, missing since mid-April, keep getting more and more implausible.



Someone called Bellefonte police and said they saw him in the audience of a taped Oprah Winfrey show. A Pittsburgh truck driver called and said he saw him in a car on an interstate, being followed by a brown sedan. He's supposedly also been spotted in Ohio, Michigan and Maryland.



Most of these tips are leading to dead ends, either because surveillance footage refutes them or because they don't lead to any further information.



And as time goes on, Bellefonte police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, the lead investigator on the case, has less and less hope that Gricar is still alive.



"There's no credit card activity, no bank account activity," he said. "That's the biggest thing that leads us to believe he's no longer with us, either because of homicide or suicide."

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:27 PM (GMT)
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2005/...-05dnews-05.asp

Gricar's family dealing with loss



By Rebecca Short

Collegian Staff Writer



More than two months after his disappearance, the family of Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar is still coming to terms with missing their loved one.



Gricar's nephew, Tony Gricar, said in an interview Monday that he and other family members are having a very difficult time digesting two popular theories being investigated by police -- that Gricar may have committed suicide or that he ran away.



"He was looking forward to retirement," Tony Gricar said. "Why would he just up and quit?"



If Gricar had committed suicide, Tony Gricar said, he would have most likely jumped into a river.



"He should have turned up by now," he said, adding that Ray Gricar had planned to travel to Ohio for his nephew's graduation.



Gricar's live-in girlfriend Patty Fornicola said that while it is still very difficult, she is coping with the disappearance.



"I have my moments," she said. "... Fortunately I have a very good support system."



Gricar's medical records showed no history of depression or other mental illnesses, or any other factors indicating suicide.



Fornicola said she did not know whether Gricar had been depressed.



"The only thing I know for a fact was that he was tired to the point that I actually brought it up in conversation," she said. "If you know Ray, he's not the type to tell you no matter how close you are."



In hopes of helping police with the now cold investigation, Gricar's family recently created www.raygricar.com, a Web site that includes photos of the missing district attorney and a page to provide anonymous tips or words of support.



"Some people out there are hesitant to talk to police if they have tips," Tony Gricar said. He added that the site has been receiving "quite a few tips" and he passes them along to Bellefonte police.



Gricar's family also requested the help of psychic Carla Baron, who assisted Ferguson Township police in the still unsolved 2001 disappearance of Penn State student Cindy Song.



"Early on we thought there was a cold trail," he said. "There was not one thing that really pulled in one direction or another."



Baron said law enforcement or families usually contact her for help.



"Psychic ability and how you apply it is like profiling," she said. "It's assembling pieces of information that I get in another place."



Fornicola said that she and Gricar's daughter want to find him the most.



"I never thought that we would be in a place where Ray would be missing," she said.



Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon said police will keep the case open until it "comes to a resolution."



Police have ruled nothing out in the case, including the possibility of foul play.



"We really don't have enough evidence to rule one way or the other," Dixon said.



Gricar was last heard from April 15, when he called Fornicola to tell her he was driving on Route 192 at about 6:30 p.m. The following day, Gricar's red and white Mini Cooper was found near an antiques market in Lewisburg. His cell phone was found inside the locked car and has not been used since the call to Fornicola.



Since then, a number of possible sightings have been reported, most recently on May 27 by a man who thought he saw Gricar and an older woman in a restaurant in Southfield, Mich. Other sightings have been reported in Wilkes-Barre and Ohio; however, none of the reports have been proven true.

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:28 PM (GMT)
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2005/...-05dnews-04.asp

Police: Gricar case stays open



Thursday, June 30, 2005 ]



By Rebecca Short

Collegian Staff Writer



While officials continue to investigate the disappearance of Centre County District Attorney Ray

Gricar, the Bellefonte Police Department is getting back to business as usual.



"Things are going back to normal," Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon said.



So normal that officer Darrel Zaccagni, the case's lead investigator, has been put back in uniform and given regular assignments for the past six weeks.



However, Zaccagni said the change has not taken away from his work on the Gricar case.



"Even though I'm back in uniform, I'm still mostly doing Gricar things," he said. "I pick up some [other] things."



Another investigator on the case, Tom Thal, has also returned to working on other cases, Zaccagni said.



He added that the case will remain officially open until "there's a resolution."



Dixon said cases are considered open until there is a definite conclusion -- otherwise, the case will never be deemed "unsolved," or considered closed. Until that time, police continue to actively work on the case until they no longer receive tips or leads.



Another high-profile missing-person case, the Nov. 1, 2001, disappearance of Penn State student Cindy Song, is still open, and the detective assigned to the case still speaks regularly with Carla Baron, a psychic who is also working on the Gricar case.



Zaccagni said police consider every lead to be legitimate.



He said police have investigated a man Gricar prosecuted and convicted several years ago in connection with a sexual assault case, but when police looked at him as a possible suspect, they found he was still in custody.



"At no point was Ray a primary, secondary or possible target," Zaccagni said.



The FBI and state police still aid in the case when Bellefonte requests their help, but that involvement has decreased, he said.



Police are currently investigating a number of reported sightings, including one by a Centre County woman who thought she saw Gricar in the audience of a taped Oprah Winfrey Show in mid-June.



The woman's husband cleaned windows at Centre County Courthouse and she had "exchanged pleasantries" with the missing District Attorney occasionally, Zaccagni said.



"She definitely knows what he looks like," he said.



Zaccagni said police cannot rule out the report because they have not yet seen video tape of the specific show.



"We're having no luck with the Oprah Show or the legal team," he said.



Gricar was last heard from about 6:30 p.m. April 15, when he called live-in girlfriend Patty Fornicola to tell her he was driving on Route 192. The following day, Gricar's red-and-white Mini Cooper was found near an antiques market in Lewisburg.



On May 27, a man told police he thought he saw Gricar and an older woman in a restaurant in Southfield, Mich. Other sightings have been reported in Wilkes-Barre and Ohio; however, none of the reports have been proven true.

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:35 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/12068460.htm

Police review Oprah tapes after receiving Gricar tip



Posted on Wed, Jul. 06, 2005



By Pete Bosak



BELLEFONTE -- After reviewing two tapes worth of Oprah Winfrey shows, Bellefonte police have discredited a tip that missing Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar was in the studio audience.



"We did not see anybody in the audience who even remotely looked like Ray," Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon said Wednesday, a day after he and another officer reviewed the tapes sent them by producers.



Police received the tip from a woman, but Dixon did not know where she was from, as the officer who handled the tip was not available Wednesday.



The Oprah screening illustrates the diligence of the investigation and that police are pursuing every lead, no matter how far-fetched it may seem, the chief said.



"It's getting to the point things are slowing down," Dixon said. "But what tips do come in, we are pursuing them. We're doing everything we can."



Gricar, 59, disappeared April 15.

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:35 PM (GMT)
http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=...id=465812&rfi=6

News Brief



BELLEFONTE, Pa. (AP) _ Police will give the girlfriend of missing Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar a lie-detector test, officials said, though they said she wasn't a suspect in his disappearance.



Gricar's girlfriend and housemate, Patty Fornicola, said she offered "a long time ago" to take a polygraph test. "I've told them from day one that anything they need me to do, I'll do," she said Tuesday.



Gricar has been missing since April 15, when he called his office and told Fornicola, who works there as a clerk, that he was taking a drive along state Route 192. The car he was driving was found April 16 in a parking lot in Lewisburg. Police have investigated reported sightings in Ohio, Michigan and Chicago but found no evidence any of the sightings was of Gricar.



"The longer this goes on, the greater the likelihood that it's foul play," officer Darrel Zaccagni said. "There's been no bank account activity, no consistent sightings."



Zaccagni said it is normal in homicide investigations to look at spouses, significant others and family members, though Fornicola has "done absolutely nothing to indicate she's a suspect."


PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:39 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/12208767.htm

Gricar mystery fading from memories in Lewisburg



Posted on Sun, Jul. 24, 2005



By Mike Joseph



mjoseph@centredaily.com





LEWISBURG -- Thick weeds crowd the Susquehanna River banks, and the water rides much lower than it did 14 weeks ago, revealing a log here and a boulder there that in spring were sunken and out of sight.



But there's no sign of Ray Gricar.



The riverside moorings have long been cleared of last winter's clinging debris, and two popular boating holidays -- Memorial Day and the Fourth of July -- have come and gone since the Centre County district attorney vanished after taking a Friday off from work and driving here, an hour east of Bellefonte.



There's been no sign of him since, and the vortex of the unexplained that once pulled in detectives, rescue crews, reporters and the neighborhood curious no longer consumes so much attention.



Or so it seemed last week at an antiques mall restaurant, the Remember When Cafe, where police think the district attorney was last seen.



"So how's the search for Ray Gricar going?" a reporter asked waitress Bobi Keiser.



"For who?" Keiser said.



"Ray Gricar."



"Oh, is that that DA guy?"



"Yes."



"You don't hear too much about it any more."



The restaurant, a milkshake and hamburger stop that spotlights nostalgia for Elvis Presley and other rock 'n' roll icons, was not quite ready to open on the weekend Gricar disappeared. On that Saturday, April 16, antiques mall owner Craig Bennett stopped by about noon to check on the last phase of construction.



Bennett noticed a man standing eight to 10 feet away. The man stood there five to 10 minutes, neither shopping nor browsing. When Bellefonte detectives converged on the Street of Shops antiques mall after Gricar disappeared, Bennett told them repeatedly that the man fit the district attorney's description.



Last week, Bennett remained steadfast in his recollection. Bennett saw nothing else that was relevant. He didn't see the man interact with anyone, and he didn't notice how the man came to leave the mall. But Bennett's apparent sighting of Gricar -- detectives call it a "visual on Ray" -- has given him an eyes-on connection to the mystery and, for a time, helped fuel hope that Gricar may be alive somewhere.



"He looked anxious," Bennett said last week. "He was not a relaxed person. He was waiting for someone."



Bennett dismisses suggestions that Gricar may have jumped off a nearby bridge into the Susquehanna River or otherwise drowned there. With water only about 30 inches deep now, the river bottom shows quite clearly from above, and fish can be easily spotted navigating their way through the deepest of quite shallow channels.



"They would have found him if he'd jumped," Bennett said.



Detectives have had less and less presence in the area as the time has gone by, but Bennett did notice plain-clothes agents nosing around one day within the past month.



Gricar's car, a red-and-white Mini Cooper, was found in the antiques mall parking lot after he disappeared -- one of the case's few anchoring facts around which many have tried to lash their theories, however inconclusive.



"How can something so bizarre happen and still be unexplained at this time?" Bennett said. "Somebody knows. That car didn't beam itself down here. It got here somehow."



In the oaken taproom of the Lewisburg Hotel, two blocks from the antiques mall, radio station owner Don Steese and bartender Terri Peterson chatted over the lunch hour.



The small talk had nothing to do with Gricar, though Steese and Peterson allowed that three months ago it might have.



"That's yesterday's news -- not top of mind any more," Steese said.



Peterson joked that Gricar was probably off somewhere with Elvis or Jim Morrison, another rock star who died young, but then she got serious. She recalled how, in the early days of the investigation, detectives asked her and others at the hotel to try to remember whether they'd seen Gricar.



The bar gets fairly crowded on weekends, Peterson said, especially with middle-aged men, and she hadn't been able to help the police.



"I wish I could have said, 'Yes, I saw him,' but I couldn't," she said. "How would I know if he was in here? I see how many people a day ... ?"

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:39 PM (GMT)
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2005/...-05dnews-01.asp

DA's girlfriend passes polygraph



Fornicola elected to take the test; no family members will take it





By Krystle Kopacz

Collegian Staff Writer



The girlfriend of missing district attorney Ray Gricar took and passed a lie detector test Friday, Bellefonte police said yesterday.



Patty Fornicola took the three-and-a-half-hour polygraph Friday afternoon, which concluded she was not in any way involved with the disappearance of the Centre County district attorney, Bellefonte Police Chief Duane Dixon said.



He added that the test, which was given by U.S. Secret Service agents, also showed Fornicola had no knowledge of his current whereabouts or the location of his missing laptop computer.



On the trail

April 15 - Gricar is last heard from when he calls his live-in girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, from his cell phone. He tells her he is driving on Rt. 192.



April 16 - Gricar's red-and-white Mini Cooper is found near an antiques market in Lewisburg.



April 18 - At a news conference, daughter Lara Gricar says “I want you to know I love you and that my heart aches very deeply for your presence.” FBI begins assisting local police.



April 19 - Vigil held at Fornicola's childhood home in Bellefonte, which she shared with Ray Gricar.



April 20 - Police announce a $5,000 award, given by an anonymous donor, for information about the case.



April 25 - Police air search state routes 192 and 45 along Susquehanna River toward Harrisburg.



April 29 - Family speaks at press conference.



May 27 - A man reports he saw Gricar and an older woman in a restaurant in Michigan.



July 15 - Fornicola takes polygraph.





"It appears she has no information nor knows nothing about the disappearance of Mr. Gricar," Dixon said.



Gricar was last heard from at 11:30 a.m. on April 15, when he called Fornicola to tell her that he was taking the rest of the afternoon off from work and going for a drive in his 2004 red-and-white Mini Cooper. Gricar's car was found in a parking lot in Lewisburg the following afternoon.



Since his disappearance, police have launched air and ground searches, investigated Gricar's prosecution cases, tracked his medical and banking records, used police dogs and employed a psychic to try and solve the case.



Dixon added that tracked bank account records have shown no activity in the past months.



Fornicola's polygraph, which she repeatedly volunteered to take since the beginning of the investigation, was the latest in a slew of attempts to find new leads.



Dixon said that although police did not consider her a suspect, Fornicola faced speculation from the community that she had more information than she was offering.



"She just wanted to get that pushed aside to get herself cleared," Dixon said.



Although other family members volunteered to take polygraphs, no additional tests are scheduled at this time, Dixon said. He said last week that the police department has no reason to give family members a polygraph test because they are not suspects.



Gricar's nephew Tony Gricar said he was not surprised Fornicola passed the polygraph.



"We anticipated that she would pass without a problem," he said. "She was never on the family's radar as involved in his disappearance."



Tony Gricar said he thought the polygraph was emotionally draining for Fornicola.



"She clearly loved Ray very much," he said. "To be going down that path as a possible suspect could have been emotionally wrecking for anyone."



Dixon said Gricar might be a victim of foul play or suicide. However, police are not ruling out the possibility that he may still be found alive. Police are unsure where they will search next, Dixon said.



"We have very little to work with still at this point," he said. "We haven't really gotten anywhere other than the fact the car was found in Lewisburg."



Tony Gricar said he will meet with Bellefonte police today to discuss the direction of the investigation.



Patty Fornicola could not be reached for comment yesterday afternoon.



-- Collegian staff writer Rebecca Short contributed to this report.


PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:40 PM (GMT)
http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/12658311.htm

Gricar's daughter passes polygraph

Police consider giving test to other relatives

By Erin L. Nissley

enissley@centredaily.com


BELLEFONTE -- The daughter of missing District Attorney Ray Gricar passed a polygraph test that sought to determine whether she knew anything about, or had anything to do with, her father's April 15 disappearance.

According to Bellefonte police Officer Darrel Zaccagni, Lara Gricar took a polygraph test when she was in town last week visiting her mother, Barbara Gray. The test was given by the same two Secret Service agents that administered a polygraph test to Ray Gricar's girlfriend and housemate Patty Fornicola in July.

"We wanted to be proactive," Zaccagni said. "If this was a homicide, we'd automatically look at close family. And from our point of view, if he's still out there, you have to ask who he'd contact first."

Lara Gricar, who lives in Seattle, said she offered to take a polygraph test months ago. But she wasn't prepared for how stressful it was.

"It was not enjoyable, that's for sure," she said. "There was all sorts of stuff, from 'Do you know where your dad is?' to 'Has he contacted you?' "

Police are also considering giving polygraph tests to Ray Gricar's nephews, Tony and Chris, as well as Gricar's two ex-wives, Barbara Gray and Emma, whose last name has not been made public. None are considered suspects in Gricar's disappearance, Zaccagni said.

"We don't know if he's willingly missing, or if it's a suicide or homicide," Zaccagni said. "We want to have something ready for down the road ... to rule them out for having any contact" with Ray Gricar.

Gricar was last heard from on April 15, when he called his office and spoke to Fornicola at about 11:30 a.m. The red-and-white Mini Cooper he was driving was found in Lewisburg the next day.

Meanwhile, police are still waiting to hear from the FBI about the results of analysis of photos taken of a man seen dining at a Chili's in Nacogdoches, Texas, last month.

The woman who took the photos with her cell phone thought the man resembled Gricar and turned the phone over to Bellefonte police several weeks ago.

"Unofficially, the FBI doesn't think it's him," Zaccagni said. "But they're not willing to commit to that until the analysis is done."

Erin L. Nissley can be reached at 231-4616.


PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:41 PM (GMT)
http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05264/575134.stm

Man spotted at Texas eatery not missing DA

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

The FBI has officially concluded that a man spotted in a Texas restaurant last month was not Ray Gricar, the missing Centre County district attorney.

In the analysis, the FBI reported there were "multiple inconsistencies" between known photos of Gricar and the man photographed at a Chili's restaurant in Lufkin, Texas.

A woman dining there with her family on Aug. 8 saw the man, who was eating alone. She thought he resembled Gricar, whose photograph she'd seen on national news programs.

When the woman spoke to the man, she told police, he seemed to avoid her questions and acted strangely.

In case it was Gricar, she snapped a few photographs of the man surreptitiously with her cell phone. She then turned her phone over to local police who forwarded it to the Bellefonte Police Department, which is handling the investigation.

Bellefonte police then asked the FBI to analyze the pictures, which were of low quality, and try to determine if the man was Gricar.

The FBI forwarded its report to Bellefonte earlier this week. It noted several inconsistencies between the two men, said Detective Darrel Zaccagni.

Among them are differences in the overall shapes of the heads, noses, left ears, hairlines, left eyebrows and eyes, Zaccagni said.

Investigators weren't surprised at the findings.

"We pretty much decided it wasn't Ray ourselves, and we were moving on from there," Zaccagni said. "We're still looking for Ray, unfortunately."

Gricar has been missing since April 15. Police have no leads in his disappearance, and are still unsure if he willingly chose to walk away from his life, committed suicide or became the victim of a violent crime.

He was last heard from that morning, when he called his live-in girlfriend to tell her he was taking the day off from work. His car was found the next day in Lewisburg, Union County, outside an antiques shop.

There were no signs of a struggle or indication of what had happened.

Police and volunteers searched the Susquehanna River several times looking for Gricar to no avail. Then, in July, fishermen found Gricar's laptop computer in the river. Its hard drive had been removed, and police were not able to recover any evidence from it.

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:41 PM (GMT)
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2005/...-05dnews-08.asp

Family coping in missing DA case

Thursday, Oct. 13, 2005 ]

By Halle Stockton
Collegian Staff Writer

It has been almost six months since the disappearance of Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar and police still have no new leads and the family is continuing through the difficult times.

Bellefonte Police Department Cpl. Daniel Holliday said that, unfortunately, there have been no new developments, but the department is continuing to handle the case the same way.

"We are in a stage of the case when it sort of has gotten cold over time," Holliday said.

Tony Gricar, Ray Gricar's nephew, said he thinks hunting season could potentially lead to the discovery of his uncle's body if it is in fact out there.

Holliday said he has not heard of any family meetings being planned or polygraph tests being scheduled for any other family members.

The FBI determined that the cell phone pictures taken in Texas were not Ray Gricar. A body was found in the Lackawanna River. If DNA results come back negative for tests of comparisons with a Carbondale man, the body will be tested with Ray Gricar.

"We will continue to meet periodically to make sure we are all still on board and up-to-date with the information," Holliday said.

Patty Fornicola, Ray Gricar's girlfriend, said she touches base occasionally with Bellefonte Police officer Darrel Zaccagni, who heads the case.

Tony Gricar said he and his brother were in town on Saturday for the Penn State-Ohio State game.

"It is the first time we had been back [in State College] and had no meetings or anything related to the case," he said. "We actually tailgated at the spot where Ray usually is with his friends."

Tony Gricar added that Gricar's birthday was Sunday.

"It would have been his 60th birthday ... obviously that is a little depressing," he said. "This is a waiting game; it's difficult."

Fornicola said this week and the months ahead, which include holidays and the couple's annual Vermont vacation, are going to be difficult for her and the whole family.

"We are coming to a time now when he would be really planning on getting everything wrapped up for his career," Fornicola said. "I'm still waiting, not knowing ... still trying to maintain some hope and that's kind of all you have -- just trying to keep going every day."

Acting District Attorney Mark Smith, who worked with Gricar for 20 years, said since Gricar's disappearance, he took on the workload of the district attorney and an assistant district attorney.

"I am working an incredible amount of hours every week, but I am also spreading some of that work around to some of the other assistant district attorneys," Smith said.

Smith said that when Gricar disappeared April 15, he had one to two approaching trials, which another prosecutor had to take.

"We did not have to continue or postpone any hearings because of Ray's absence," Smith said. "We've been able to maintain the typical caseload."

Smith said he and his colleagues are still "baffled" by Gricar's disappearance.

"So far there just has not been a resolution to his absence -- it [is] still up in the air and still on everyone's mind," he said.

Holliday said Bellefonte police do not have new information about a body that is being examined by the Lackawanna County coroner. Lackawanna County coroner's assistant Ann Berardelli said the body found in the Lackawanna River Sept. 20 is classified as an ongoing investigation. Scranton police said the body is most likely that of a missing Carbondale man who disappeared shortly before the body was discovered.

"[If the DNA does not match the Carbondale man,] further testing will be done on others, including Ray Gricar," Berardelli said.

Holliday said that despite reaching the six-month mark, Bellefonte police would continue to investigate just as they have been.

"I don't think that a certain timeframe -- one month, six months, one year -- makes a difference in the scope of the investigation," he said. "The frustration for us, as investigators, is that it is basically the same situation as we were in the beginning ... still a missing persons case after all this time."

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:42 PM (GMT)
Six months later, still no answers in Gricar mystery

By Erin L. Nissley

enissley@centredaily.com


BELLEFONTE -- Six months after Ray Gricar vanished, calls about the case have dwindled and the few clues discovered have only created new questions.

Theories about his disappearance abound, but police have no new leads. And the idea that they may never know what happened to Centre County's distict attorney, a career prosecutor who was set to retire at the end of the year, is something his loved ones are slowly and unwillingly coming to grips with.

If everything were normal, Gricar would have celebrated his 60th birthday Oct. 9 in Vermont with his longtime girlfriend, Patty Fornicola. The trip had become a tradition.

"He loved Vermont," she said. "We've been (there) every year since we started dating."

But instead of a vacation, Fornicola went to work last week and tried to push thoughts of the trip out of her head. It's just part of the nightmare she's been living since she called police at 11:30 p.m. April 15 to report Gricar missing.

"I'm waiting to wake up," she said. "Sometimes, I'll be driving home, and I'll think, 'Oh, he'll be in the house when I get home.'"

For Steve Sloane, an assistant district attorney who considers Gricar one of his closest friends, even work is different without him.

"It was fun, working with him," he said. "This is my first serious job where I've had a friend."

Gricar's absence has been felt by other friends and family members in all sorts of other ways and at other times, such as at the tailgate before the Penn State-Ohio State game that had been a tradition for his nephews, Tony and Chris, or in the absence of short phone chats between him and his only child, Lara.

"I called him two or three times a week," Lara Gricar said. "I'm devastated. I really miss my dad."

As time goes by, Gricar's disappearance threatens to join the ranks of other local unsolved missing person cases -- Brenda Condon, who disappeared from Spring Township in 1991, and Hyun "Cindy" Song, who disappeared from Ferguson Township in 2001.

Last year, 165,786 adults were reported missing in the United States, according to statistics kept by the FBI. While most of those cases end happily, more than a few are never solved.

"It's upsetting to think that we might never know," Fornicola said. "But it's a fact. We might not."

Lara Gricar said she always knew that her father's disappearance would not be solved easily.

"This isn't a surprise to me," she said. "I had a feeling that it could be a very long time. I don't know why I thought that, but I did."

Many of Gricar's loved ones are tired of talking about the case, tired of the theories, tired of the wait.

"You're at a dead end. Every scenario is as likely as a next. Talking about it is like nails on a chalkboard," Sloane said. "Trying to find a path of logic in this -- it's annoying and it's futile."

Tony Gricar, who at 33 has become the Gricar family patriarch, said he's trying to get his life and his small business back to normal.

"I haven't been doing a lot (with the case) in the last several weeks," he said. "I needed a break."

But every time a new call comes in, family and police are thrust back in the midst of the puzzle. Many of the reported sightings, such as at a Chili's restaurant in Texas two months ago and at a grocery store in Ohio this summer, turned out to be false alarms. Others, such as sightings in Michigan and Wilkes-Barre, can't be confirmed.

One of the few concrete clues, the July 30 discovery of Gricar's county-issued laptop computer in the Susquehanna River -- did little to help police figure out what happened.

"It got my wheels turning," Tony Gricar said. "Where do you go with that? What does law enforcement think?"

Even local investigators don't know quite what to make of the find, pointing out that it fits neatly into many of the theories -- among them that Gricar committed suicide, left because he had a secret or was killed by someone because he knew something that his killer or killers didn't want to be made public.

Darrel Zaccagni, a Bellefonte police officer who's been the lead investigator on the case, ticks off the questions that finding the computer raises.

"Why would this man all of a sudden take the laptop from the house -- removing it from the soft carrying case -- and go for a drive?" he asked. "Why would we find the laptop missing its hard drive in the river? Why does he, or someone else, remove it and destroy the computer?"

There's little for Gricar's friends and family to do except wait. It's something Fornicola said she's gotten good at during the past six months.

"I've learned how patient I really am," she said. "I guess I've learned how strong I really am, too."

http://www.centredaily.com/mld/centredaily/12914580.htm


PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:42 PM (GMT)
http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/news/12923945.htm

News in brief from central Pennsylvania

Posted on Mon, Oct. 17, 2005
Associated Press

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. - Police have no plans to give polygraph tests to any more family members of missing Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar.

Gricar's daughter, Lara, and his girlfriend, Patty Fornicola, have taken lie detector tests. Both "passed with flying colors," Bellefonte police officer Darrel Zaccagni has said. Authorities wanted to be sure that neither woman had any knowledge of Gricar's whereabouts or had anything to do with his disappearance, Zaccagni said.

Police had considered testing other members of Gricar's family, including his second wife and nephews, but now say that there is nothing to justify doing that.

"It's highly unlikely that he'd go to an ex-wife whom he didn't get along with ... (a)nd his nephews he wasn't close with on a daily basis," Zaccagni said.

Police say they do not think his disappearance is tied to any of his cases and have few credible leads.

PorchlightUSA - July 14, 2007 07:43 PM (GMT)
http://www.collegian.psu.edu/archive/2005/...-05dnews-03.asp

County still holds Gricar's salary as search continues

Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2005 ]

By Halle Stockton
Collegian Staff Writer

Centre County commissioners are continuing to hold former Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar's salary until there is a resolution to his seven-month disappearance.

"We will essentially do nothing with his salary until he appears, his body is found or this is somehow resolved," Centre County commissioners' Chairman Chris Exarchos said.

The commissioners made the decision after a consensus was reached among them and state lawyers who were assigned to evaluate the situation.

County Administrative Service Director Tim Boyde said the money has been held since Gricar's disappearance April 15, which is seven months' worth of Gricar's $130,000 annual salary.

Boyde said Gricar's salary and benefits are included in the department's budget.

"[The money is] not really anywhere now; it's just being shown on paper what is owed to [Gricar]," Boyde said. "At the end of the calendar year, the question is, where do we put the money?"

Boyde said the department has talked with the county solicitor and financial advisers about the situation.

"They had some preliminary input ... nothing has been settled, but it's kind of premature at this point," Boyde said.

Boyde said one option is to hold the money in an escrow account, a trust account held in a third party's name. It has not yet been determined if the account would earn interest.

Another option at the end of the year would be to send a letter to Gricar's beneficiaries notifying them that the money is available, Boyde added.

Boyde said that once there is a resolution to the case, it can be determined how much time Gricar would be paid for, and the remainder of the money would revert back to the county.

The Centre County commissioners voted to withhold Gricar's salary in May, a few weeks after his disappearance.

Sen. Jake Corman, R-Centre, offered the Centre County commissioners assistance in October in the form of state lawyers to help determine a course of action regarding Gricar's salary.

Corman said last month that the state lawyers were attempting to find a precedent that would guide the decision making.

There have been no new developments in the case, Bellefonte Police Department officer Darrel Zaccagni said, and there have been no new reports from the FBI concerning Gricar's hard drive.

The hard drive was found in early October about 10 to 15 feet in from the riverbank of the Susquehanna River.

The hard drive was found about 100 yards from the area where two fishermen discovered his county-issued laptop in July.

The hard drive was transferred to the FBI and is being processed in a California "clean room" by experts attempting to recover data despite the hard drive's condition.

Bellefonte police do not have a timeframe for when the results can be expected.

Bellefonte police said they are hoping to recover data such as e-mail messages, banking information, Internet browser history or possibly some kind of journal.







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